Sanders Campaign Manager Hits Biden for High-Dollar Fundraisers

Bernie Sanders | Getty
May 24, 2019

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I. Vt.) campaign manager Faiz Shakir took aim at Democrat presidential primary front runner Joe Biden for recent high-dollar fundraisers the former vice president has held since joining the race.

Biden "is raising huge sums of money at large fundraising events all across the country," Shakir wrote in a Friday morning fundraising email to supporters.

"These are high-dollar functions hosted and attended by corporate lobbyists, health care executives, a Republican casino-CEO, and a union-busting lawyer among others," he added.

The New York Times reported Biden has "constructed much of his early schedule around vacuuming up as much campaign cash as possible, as his operation presses to assert his front-runner status with a show of financial force."

These type of fundraisers have allowed Biden to rake in donations while he campaigns across the country. For example, Politico reported the former vice president raised over two million dollars during a two day stop in Florida earlier this week, a fact Shakir also pointed out in the Friday fundraising email.

"[T]he American people are pretty sick and tired of the billionaire class of this country buying up our candidates and our elections," Shakir later stated in the email echoing Sanders's populist pleas on the campaign trail.

The Sanders campaign appears to be employing a similar strategy they used in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary when they attacked Hillary Clinton over her reliance on closed door, high-dollar fundraisers. During that primary, Sanders consistently highlighted the average donation to his campaign was $27 and the campaign in total was able to raise over $200 million dollars from these small-dollar donations.

In a sign that Biden's campaign may be sensitive to similar criticisms, the campaign has allowed reporters to attend his fundraisers. The Times coverage from earlier this week described some of the high-dollar fundraisers as "lavish affairs" that has included such delicacies as caviar and langoustine tail.

Biden and Sanders have generally emerged as the top two choices for Democrat primary voters in public opinion polls of early caucus states but have yet to aggressively attack each other on the campaign trail.

The full slate of Democratic presidential candidates, now totaling over 20, will debate for the first time on June 26 and 27 in Miami.

Published under: Bernie Sanders , Joe Biden