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Pete Buttigieg said during the Democratic presidential primary debate Tuesday that any debt forgiveness program should start with students of for-profit colleges, which he said took advantage of veterans.

"The moment I deployed, my Facebook feed started filling up with ads from these for-profit colleges," said Buttigieg, who served in Afghanistan as a U.S. Navy reservist in 2014.

Buttigieg, who is mayor of South Bend, Ind., also criticized the Trump administration's efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations targeting the for-profit sector. In a plan released earlier this month, he called for canceling the student debt of borrowers who attended programs that failed the gainful-employment rule. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos officially repealed the rule this month.

"On my watch, those colleges that turned the Department of Education into a predatory lender -- that’s where we'd start getting rid of loans," he said during the debate.