Bernie Sanders: Campaign Contributions From Billionaires & CEOs ‘Precisely The Problem With American Politics’

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during the 100 Club Dinner
Scott Olson / Getty Images

With the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary fast-approaching, White House hopefuls are holding rallies and making appearances on cable shows, making a final pitch to potential voters. On Sunday, Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont appeared on Face the Nation, according to The Hill.

“We are running all over this state, we’re talking to as many people as we can, we’re talking about what our agenda is,” Sanders told host Margaret Brennan, before pivoting to his main opponent in the New Hampshire primary, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“We’re going to contrast our view with Mayor Buttigieg’s,” the senator said, pointing that that “one of the areas of contrast” between them has to do with campaign finance. Sanders has relied exclusively on small-dollar, grassroots contributions, while Buttigieg has accepted money from around 40 billionaires, as well as from CEOs of large corporations.

Sanders then explained why he believes the differences between him and Buttigieg matter.

“It matters enormously, that is precisely the problem with American politics,” he said, adding that candidates who accept contributions from, for instance, CEOs of pharmaceutical companies “are not going to aggressively deal with the fact that in some case we pay 10 times more than our friends in Europe and Canada.”

Sanders and Buttigieg seemingly tied in Iowa, but the caucuses were overshadowed by scandals involving the Iowa Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee. Sanders, who managed to win 6,000 more votes than Buttigieg, declared victory.

“I kind of think that when you win the popular vote by 6,000 votes you win the election,” the senator said, adding that the Iowa fiasco is “damaging” for the Democratic Party.

Stating that he will support whoever the Democratic nominee is, Sanders said that he will try to distinguish himself from other candidates during the primary process.

On the heels of strong showings in Iowa, Sanders and Buttigieg are competing for delegates in New Hampshire. Buttigieg — who also declared victory — surged in the polls, but his momentum has since slowed down. According to the latest update to the 7 News/ Emerson College tracking poll, Sanders holds a 10-point lead over Buttigieg.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in third place, polling at 13 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is in fourth place with 12 percent, as is former Vice President Joe Biden, who underperformed in Iowa. The movement in the polls appears to be caused by Warren-Sanders and Biden-Buttigieg migrations.

Sanders’ greatest strength is the popularity he enjoys among voters under 50-years-old. Buttigieg, on the other hand, is leading the field among those older than 50-years-old.