Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Monday said she can spend hours taking selfies with voters because, unlike other Democrats running for president, she is not hosting a bunch of big-money private fundraisers.
In what may have been a jab at former Vice President Joe Biden and her other rivals, Warren made her remarks hours before Biden hosted yet another big-money private fundraiser in New York. The New York Times noted on Sunday that Wall Street donors are favoring South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg along with Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
After telling the audience at the Poor People’s Campaign’s Presidential Forum that she has done more than 100 town halls and taken more than “2,000 unfiltered questions from folks,” Warren said she can spend hours after her events taking selfies with voters because she is not spending her time “behind closed doors with a bunch of corporate lobbyists.” As Breitbart News noted, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) recently started taking selfies in photo lines after Warren surpassed him in numerous polls and started to become the favorite of “very liberal” Democrats.
“Shoot, I’m over 30,000 selfies now. So I’m in this. But here’s the deal. Ask yourself why I’ve got the time to do that and most other candidates don’t,” Warren said. “And the reason is because I’m not spending my time behind closed doors with a bunch of millionaires. I’m not spending my time behind closed doors with a bunch of corporate lobbyists. I’m spending my time building a grassroots organization that looks like the rest of America and that helps us build together so that we understand this government can’t keep working for those at the top and survive. We need to fight back.”
Warren clashed with Biden over the 2005 bankruptcy bill, and the Massachusetts senator has surged in the polls—moving into second in numerous state and national polls and even surpassing Biden in a Minnesota poll— as she has tried to frame herself as the populist alternative to Biden with her numerous plans.
I don’t spend time at fancy fundraisers. Instead, I spend my time meeting voters and thanking grassroots donors who chip in what they can. Donate $3 to my campaign, and you might just get a call from me to thank you! https://t.co/qvWn3CqUnT
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 18, 2019
Warren in February announced that she would renounce big-money fundraisers during the primary season but did not make the same commitment for a potential general election matchup with President Donald Trump, saying she is against “unilateral disarmament.”
On our campaign, there’ll be no event you’ll be excluded from because you can’t afford it, and no better seats or 1:1 time with me at events if you can. What you donate shouldn’t determine the amount of time you get to spend with a candidate. My plan: https://t.co/nVNiiGyOPd
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 25, 2019
“I’ve already said that I will run my campaign differently — no Washington lobbyist money, no PAC money, no auditioning billionaires to run a super PAC for me, and no dark-money groups devoted to supporting this campaign,” Warren declared then. “But today I’m going further. There’s another huge way in which money influences presidential campaigns. It usually goes unspoken, but I want to call it out: Candidates for public office in America spend way too much time with wealthy donors.”
Warren vowed to run her campaign “on the principle of equal access for anybody who joins it,” saying “that means no fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write the big checks.”
“And when I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation. It means that wealthy donors won’t be able to purchase better seats or one-on-one time with me at our events,” she continued. “And it means I won’t be doing ‘call time,’ which is when candidates take hours to call wealthy donors to ask for their support. As a candidate for president, the expectation is you make hours of these calls a week and attend dozens of these exclusive events every quarter.”
We’ve had over 70 town halls and we do a selfie line after each one. Not only is it fun, it’s when I get to listen to people’s stories. I’m so glad I got to take my 20,000th selfie yesterday with Umeirra in Cincinnati. pic.twitter.com/5yQFAlc41A
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 12, 2019