Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) acknowledged Monday that her dramatic pledge to avoid big-ticket fundraisers and being beholden to large donors only applies to the Democratic primary process.
Warren wrote a Medium post on Monday pledging her "presidential primary campaign" will be premised on equal access "for anybody who joins it," saying, "That means no fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write the big checks." She tweeted out videos Monday night of her calling small donors around the country to thank them for their assistance.
However, MSNBC "All In" host Chris Hayes pointed out to Warren that she had an eight-figure treasure chest from her easy Senate reelection last year.
"What does that say about what you were doing before? If this is the right way to do it now, why now and why not before?" he asked.
"So, look, I’ve never actually been in a deeply competitive primary. I get it," Warren said. "Republicans come to the table armed to the teeth. They’ve got all of their donors, their wealthy, wealthy donors. They’ve gone their super PACs. They’ve got their dark money. They’ve got everything going for them. I’m just going to be blunt. I do not believe in unilateral disarmament. We've got to go into these fights, and we've got to be willing to win these fights."
"So, this applies to the primary. Like, were you to get the nomination—" Hayes started.
"This is a primary," Warren said.
"Or anyone else gets the nomination, like, just raise all the money you can, however you can," Hayes said.
"Yes, but here’s what I want you to see that’s different about it, Chris," Warren said. "Think about the difference once we’re down to the two candidates. If the Democrats have spent the next year in a primary, building this thing, face-to-face, person-to-person, neighbor-to-neighbor across the country, think of the kind of foundation that we have laid down."
She wrote on Medium if her campaign did that, she would build the kind of grassroots organization necessary to compete in a general election. At that point, if she were the nominee, according to her own words, all bets were off for how she would continue to raise funds.
"By then we’ll be up against a Republican machine that will be hell-bent on keeping the White House," she wrote. "They will have PACs and super PACs and too many special interest groups to count, and we will do what is necessary to match them financially. That means investing — starting now — in each and every one of our state parties, and in our national party too."
Warren's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.