Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’s emerged as frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, pledged during an interview with CBS News on Tuesday to forego big money fundraisers if she nabs the nomination next year — a reversal from her previous stance.
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Warren currently eschews traditional, big donor events, but had previously said that promise applied only to the primary race during an interview on MSNBC.
“I’m just going to be blunt,” she said in February. “I do not believe in unilateral disarmament.”
But Warren, a top fundraiser in the third quarter, pivoted this week when asked whether she’d consider holding big fundraising events should she win the Democratic primary — no matter how much money President Trump generates.
“I will not be forced to make changes in how I raise money,” she said. “Look, for me this is pretty straightforward. Either you think democracy works and electing a president is all about going behind closed doors with bazillionaires and corporate executives and lobbyists and scooping up as much money as possible. Or you think it’s about a grass-roots, let’s build this from the ground up.”
In the last three months, Warren’s campaign said it raised $24.6 million from small donors. So far, her haul is higher than that of every Democratic candidate who’s reported so far except for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also rejects big donors. If he received the nomination, the self-described Democratic socialist has said he would also refuse big donor events.
By comparison, former Vice President Joe Biden, the longtime frontrunner, pulled in about $15.2 million in the third quarter, roughly $7 million short than what he’d received in the previous quarter.
Of course, in that same period, Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee pulled in a staggering $125 million in donations.