Bernie Sanders on Friday doubled down on criticism of fellow Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden over the support they’ve received from billionaire donors, arguing his 2020 rivals’ fundraising was “exactly the problem with American politics”.
Sanders noted that the South Bend mayor, Buttigieg, had accepted support from 40 billionaires throughout his campaign and was “closing in on Biden”, the former vice-president who has received donations from at least 44 billionaires. The Vermont senator told the Guardian: “They will tell you, ‘It doesn’t impact me. It really doesn’t mean anything to me.’ That is clearly nonsensical. Why would billionaires and wealthy people be making large contributions if it didn’t mean something to them?”
Sanders appeared cheerful and spoke confidently about the state of his presidential campaign as he sat down with the Guardian and the not-for-profit publication Capital & Main before a climate town hall in Moreno Valley, just outside of Los Angeles.
I’m glad that the interviewer brought up the UK election, might as well get that out of the way asap.
Sanders also brushed aside concerns from some Democratic pundits, who have drawn comparisons between him and Jeremy Corbyn, the British Labour leader who experienced a stunning defeat in that country’s recent elections. “Our opponents will throw every reason in the world against us,” Sanders said, arguing his rise is making the Democratic establishment “very, very nervous”.
He continued, “The United Kingdom, last I heard, is not the United States. Brexit is not a major part of what this campaign is about. The issues that I am campaigning on, in fact, are precisely the issues the American people support. Talk about raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. Four years ago when I introduced that concept, it was a radical idea. Not radical anymore.”
Sanders noted that there was also polling showing broad support for many of his more progressive proposals, including Medicare for All, student debt cancellation and wealth taxes.
And I’m kind of glad Bernie brought up the fact that, in addition to being old, he’s happens to be fair-skinned. Another issue tackled head on to hopefully defuse attacks from his opponents and the media.
Among the toughest questions Sanders faced during the debate were several on race and identity. When asked about concerns regarding too many older men in power, he interjected, “And I’m white as well!” adding, “The issue is not old or young, male or female, the issue is working people standing up taking on the billionaire class.”
I hope you all have a fabulous Winter Solstice Saturday!
n an advertisement released on Facebook and Instagram near the end of October, the American Energy Alliance made at least six buys of ads depicting the Vermont senator speaking to three scientists in white lab coats with tape over their mouths and text saying “The Debate is Over.”
According to Federal Election Commission filings, the conservative, largely Koch-funded group last spent money on an election in 2012, funding attack ads against political candidates using messages such as “stand with coal” and “vote no on Obama’s failing energy policy.”
The AEA calls itself a “not-for-profit organization that engages in grassroots public policy advocacy and debate concerning energy and environmental policies.” The group spent nearly $1.4 million on electioneering communications ads — with Obama as their subject — during the 2012 election cycle.
Since May 2018, the AEA has spent $68,363 on Facebook and Instagram ads that feature other campaigns against the GND. One includes a cartoon of a thermostat, coins and dollar bills saying, “You might think the Green New Deal is funny, but you won’t be laughing at your new energy bill.” The post then urges people to sign an AEA-created petition demanding lawmakers reject the deal.
“It looks like a pretty standard fossil fuel industry front group attacking clean energy,” Josh Mandelbaum, an attorney with the Environmental Law and Policy Center, said of the ads.
Tonight is the 5th DNC sanctioned debate, and will be televised on MSNBC. The debate is being held at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta and starts 9 ET. According to WaPO, Georgia is trending purple in its suburbs and may be a closely contested state next year. It is the first debate this cycle featuring an all female pundit group: Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker and Ashley Parker.
There are only 10 candidates who qualified for this debate. The qualifications in getting an invitation are as follows:
165,000 unique donors
hitting at least 3 percent in four approved polls or at least 5 percent in two early-state polls
The candidates tonight gracing the stage are former VP Joe Biden, Sen Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep Tulsi Gabbard, Sen Kamala Harris, Sen Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. Biden and Warren will share center stage, flanked by Buttigieg and Sanders. Buttigieg is expected to be on the hot seat tonight now that he polls highly in Iowa followed by NH; Biden still leads in SC, and NV is tied by Sanders and Biden.
Given that the impeachment inquiry has been going on for the past two weeks, one will expect some questions about foreign policy as well as health care. Sanders is the sole candidate who has led legislation on Medicare for All (and expanded!), another expected topic in which Warren will have to continue to explain her new public option plan. “Candidates will have 75 seconds to answers questions posed to them and 45 seconds for follow-ups at the moderators’ discretion. Candidates should be able to respond if they’re referred to by name by another candidate, but that will be at the moderators’ discretion, according to an announcement earlier this month from MSNBC and the Post.” According to NBC News, the debate will be broadcast live on MSNBC and will also stream for free on MSNBC.com and washingtonpost.com as well as across mobile devices via NBC News and The Washington Post’s mobile apps. In addition, audio of the debate will be available on SiriusXM Channel 118, and TuneIn.
NBCNews.com will live blog the debate throughout the night, offering live updates, fact checks and analysis.
TYT.com will offer post debate analysis and reactions in the spin room.
Looks like Biden’s campaign has accidentally sent a post-debate fundraising email out early. It suggests he may target Warren again tonight.
“We need more than plans… We need to reach across the aisle and demand that our leaders do what’s right.” pic.twitter.com/7YSvzy1bGm