“Why would billionaires and wealthy people be making large contributions if it didn’t mean something to them?”
By Sam Levine
The Guardian (12/20/19)
Bernie Sanders on Friday doubled down on criticism of fellow Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden over the support they’ve received from billionaire donors, arguing his 2020 rivals’ fundraising was “exactly the problem with American politics”.
Sanders noted that the South Bend mayor, Buttigieg, had accepted support from 40 billionaires throughout his campaign and was “closing in on Biden”, the former vice-president who has received donations from at least 44 billionaires. The Vermont senator told the Guardian: “They will tell you, ‘It doesn’t impact me. It really doesn’t mean anything to me.’ That is clearly nonsensical. Why would billionaires and wealthy people be making large contributions if it didn’t mean something to them?”
“The agenda of the wealthy … is implemented by their campaign contributions and their access to candidates.”
Sanders appeared cheerful and spoke confidently about the state of his presidential campaign as he sat down with the Guardian and the not-for-profit publication Capital & Main before a climate town hall in Moreno Valley, just outside of Los Angeles. He discussed his odds in the early primary states and his policy priorities in the White House, one day after the final Democratic debate of the year.
On Thursday, Sanders had faced off with six opponents in an at times heated debate, which was marked by escalating attacks on Buttigieg, the 37-year-old centrist mayor who has been rising in the polls in early primary states.
Buttigieg faced questions over his lack of experience in national politics and repeated criticism for a lavish fundraiser in a California “wine cave”. The mayor countered he was willing to accept money from anyone who wanted to defeat Donald Trump.
That attitude has created “candidates who are not addressing the needs of working class people, but are working overtime to protect the wealthy and the powerful”, Sanders argued on Friday, rattling off statistics on the extreme expansion of income inequality over the last 30 years in the US. “The agenda of the wealthy … is implemented by their campaign contributions and their access to candidates.”
Sanders also brushed aside concerns from some Democratic pundits, who have drawn comparisons between him and Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labour leader who experienced a stunning defeat in that country’s recent elections. “Our opponents will throw every reason in the world against us,” Sanders said, arguing his rise is making the Democratic establishment “very, very nervous”.
He continued …
- What’s Pete Buttigieg Hiding? — Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign omitted more than 20 high-level fundraisers from a list of top bundlers it disclosed last week. The public list of bundlers, featuring more than 100 people who have raised at least $25,000 for Buttigieg, was meant to bring a close to more than a week of feuding between Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren over campaign transparency. But the list left off a number of people the Buttigieg campaign had previously touted as top donors in an internal campaign fundraising report obtained by POLITICO.” [Listen for what title the big donors to the Buttigieg campaign get. — Editor] Link To 8-Minute Video