Warren Knocks Dem 2020 Field for 'Hobnobbing With the Rich'

Transferred $10 million from her Senate campaign, which used big-money fundraisers

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) / Getty Images
October 15, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) called out her fellow presidential candidates for "hobnobbing with the rich and powerful" and doubled down on her pledge to spurn big-money fundraisers.

"If Democratic candidates for president want to spend their time hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, it is currently legal for them to do so — but they shouldn't be handing out secret titles and honors to rich donors," she wrote in a Medium post.

Warren called for disclosures of dates, locations, and attendees of big-ticket fundraisers:

I'm also calling on every candidate in this race to disclose any donor or fundraiser who has a special title on their campaign, including national and regional finance committee members and bundler designations, and to disclose the dates and locations of their fundraising events and the names of every person who appears on a host committee on invitations tied to those events.

Politico reported that other campaigns have criticized Warren for lecturing them on fundraising after transferring $10 million from her 2018 Senate campaign to her presidential campaign. She had raised the money for her senatorial campaign through conventional fundraising means, before pledging to rely on small donors.

Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) have out-fundraised their Democratic rivals, according to their campaigns. Sanders also pledged to rely on individual donors rather than holding big-money fundraisers. The other top Democratic fundraisers — former vice president Joe Biden, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) — have not said they would rely solely on grassroots donations.

Buttigieg also criticized Warren for endorsing a losing strategy, arguing that Democrats cannot beat President Donald Trump with "pocket change."

Warren's plan includes a directive for the Democratic National Committee to reject corporate PAC and lobbyist donations.

Warren initially pledged to reject big-money fundraisers only during the primary election. "I do not believe in unilateral disarmament," she had said before extending her pledge to the general election.

Trump and the Republican National Committee raised a whopping $125 million last quarter, a presidential fundraising record that outstripped Warren's total by $100 million.