U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is a critic of Uber, yet has used the service for all his of taxi transportation while campaigning for president across the country.
Sanders, 74, an independent socialist from Vermont who is running for president as a Democrat, previously declared that he has “serious problems” with the ride-hailing app company because it is unregulated by the government, Bloomberg Politics reported.
An Uber representative disagreed with Sanders, noting that “there are 54 jurisdictions is the United States that have regulations for ride-hailing services,” The Hill explained at the time.
According to campaign spending numbers crunching by the National Journal, despite his misgivings, Sanders so far uses Uber exclusively to get around, as did/does Democrat Martin O’Malley, and Republicans Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker (the latter two who have since dropped out).
In contrast, Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton used Uber 41 percent of the time while spending the rest of the allocation on traditional medallion taxis; since 1992, however, Hillary Clinton’s transportation arrangements have been provided by the U.S. Secret Service.
Hillary Clinton has also vowed to crack down on Uber.
Parenthetically, second-tier candidate Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is the only presidential hopeful to report cash outlays on rides with Uber rival Lyft.
“While most candidates use Uber more than taxis to get around, Sanders was one of only a few candidates to report using Uber 100 percent of the time when he or his campaign staff need a ride,” Watchdog.org noted.
Unable to obtain a response from the Sanders campaign about its monolithic Uber spending for taxis, The Daily Caller suggested that the senator and his entourage may just be being pragmatic, apart from the political rhetoric.
“Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist and advocate for labor, so his skepticism of Uber is unsurprising. The company has been attacked on the left for evading taxi regulations in cities like New York, and the company is also criticized because its workers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees, meaning they don’t receive certain government benefits and protections…But Uber’s innovations have also allowed it to offer cheaper service than most of its competitors, and that combined with its convenience apparently made it too compelling to the Sanders campaign to choose any other service.”
Separately, after claiming during the first Democratic debate that the American people are “sick and tired” of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s controversial emails and the related issue of the private server during her government service, Sanders may be changing his tactics.
The candidates hold their second televised debate tonight in Des Moines, Iowa, at 9 p.m. Eastern, which is being hosted by CBS News, although Saturday night is a fundamentally unusual choice in that viewership generally for TV is way down with weekend celebrants out and about with family and friends.
In a reversal last week, Sanders — who has been in Congress since 1991 — told the Wall Street Journal that the FBI investigation into the email controversy should “proceed unimpeded.”
“…Sanders…is preparing new lines of attack against Hillary Rodham Clinton on trade, gun control, and even the controversy over her State Department email to use on Saturday at their next televised presidential debate, which the Sanders team regards as — if not a do-or-die moment — perhaps his best chance to slow her political momentum this fall,” the New York Times added.
CBS News officials have admitted that they are reconfiguring tonight’s debate questions in the aftermath of the barbaric Paris terrorist attack, with more focus on national security issues.
It was recently revealed that Bernie Sanders pays his interns $12 an hour even though he has introduced legislation to incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Do you think that Uber foe Bernie Sanders is pandering or opening up himself to charges of hypocrisy by using Uber 100 percent of the time or is it just an appropriate decision based on limited campaign funding?
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]