Elizabeth Warren's campaign clarifies she'll raise big-dollar money for the party as nominee
Elizabeth Warren's quote sent shockwaves through the political campaign finance world.
If she became the nominee, she'd refuse to attend big-dollar fundraisers — for her campaign and possibly also for the party.
Previously, Warren had said that her ban on high-dollar fundraisers was for the primaries — not the general.
The significance here: Such a restriction could hurt any Democratic Party effort to narrow the fundraising gap with Republicans, especially after President Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $125 million in the last fundraising quarter.
(By comparison, Warren raised nearly $25 million for only her campaign in the quarter.)
Barack Obama’s former national finance director, Rufus Gifford, criticized the news.
But in a statement to NBC News, the Warren campaign clarified that Warren would attend high-dollar events for the party (where individuals can donate tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars) — though not for the campaign (where the maximum primary + general donation is $5,600).
“When Elizabeth is the Democratic nominee for president, she’s not going to change a thing in how she runs her campaign. That means no PAC money. No federal lobbyist money. No special access or call time with rich donors or big dollar fundraisers to underwrite our campaign,” said Kristen Orthman, the campaign’s communications director.
“When she is the nominee, she will continue to raise money and attend events that are open to the press to make sure the Democratic National Committee, state and local parties, and Democratic candidates everywhere have the resources not just to beat Donald Trump but also to win back Congress and state legislatures all across the country.”
The distinction might open up Warren to charges of hypocrisy; why refuse to attend high-dollar fundraisers for your campaign, but gladly attend them for the party?
But it probably quiets Democrats like Gifford fearful that Warren — if she's the nominee — would unilaterally disarm against the Trump-RNC money machine.