Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign says it raised a record amount of money on Thursday, the day of the final primary debate of 2019, reports The Hill. In a statement, the campaign revealed that Sanders raised over $1 million, which marks the senator’s best debate-day haul so far.
Taking a jab at candidates relying on billionaires and super PACs, campaign manager Faiz Shakir suggested that Sanders’ record-breaking haul is proof that grassroots power can defeat President Donald Trump.
“A lot of candidates on the debate stage last night worked hard to convince voters that our leaders must rely on super PACs funded by the wealthy and gather big checks in wine caves to beat Donald Trump in 2020,” Shakir said, adding that Sanders is “proving them wrong every single day.”
Shakir also argued that Sanders’ rejection of big money donations demonstrates to working class voters that he will fight for them and transform the United States if elected president.
“Refusing to take cash from billionaires and CEOs is a key reason why the senator will earn the trust of voters and generate the enthusiasm needed to win the nomination, sweep Donald Trump out of the White House and create a political revolution to transform our country,” he said.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after the debate, during which the issue of money in politics was discussed. Notably, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren clashed over big money donations and fundraising tactics.
Warren accused Buttigieg of wooing donors in “wine caves” — a reference to Buttigieg’s recent fundraiser in a wine cave in Napa — arguing that wealthy individuals should not pick the president. Buttigieg hit back at Warren, pointing out that she accepted corporate and billionaire donations earlier in her career and suggesting that she has no right to issue “purity tests” when it comes to fundraising.
Joe Biden has 44 billionaire campaign contributors.
Pete Buttigieg only has 39.
This is why 3 people own more wealth than the bottom half of America.
This is why Amazon and other major corporations pay $0 in federal income tax.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 20, 2019
Warren is now eschewing big money donations, but she has reportedly relied on large individual contributions to finance her Senate campaigns, using some of the money raised during her last Senate race to build her 2020 war chest. Unlike the Massachusetts senator, Sanders has refused such donations his whole career.
Furthermore, Warren has made it clear that she would be willing to attend fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) if she becomes the nominee, which Sanders has not done, insisting that he would finance his hypothetical campaign against Trump with grassroots donations.
As The Hill notes, Sanders remains one of the most effective fundraisers in the Democratic primary, having raised $25 million in the third quarter alone.