Former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden insisted at a top-dollar campaign fundraising event in New York City that he won't take contributions from the fossil fuel industry.
But the Thursday night fundraising event was held at the ritzy Manhattan home of Andrew Goldman, who helped found a natural gas company.
The appearance by the Democratic front-runner came just 24 hours after he joined nine of his rivals for the White House at a climate change forum, where his upcoming appearance at the fundraiser sparked some controversy.
"Folks, I know there’s been a lot of attention paid to you showing up tonight. More than I think you anticipated,” Biden emphasized as he kicked off his speech to the donors at the fundraiser.
Biden said there was a "misrepresentation” the previous night at the CNN town hall – when he was asked by a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont why Biden should be trusted to tackle climate change when he was heading to a fundraiser co-hosted by Goldman, one of the founders of the Texas-based natural gas company LNG Western.
Without mentioning Goldman by name, Biden told the crowd at the fundraiser that “there was a discussion and I think a mild misrepresentation of what was going on relative to climate.”
But Biden didn’t elaborate on just what was mispresented.
The former vice president reiterated his pledge not to take contributions from fossil fuel companies, a vow that nearly every candidate in the record-setting field of Democratic White House contenders has also taken.
“I just want to be very clear to everyone here: I am committed to not raising money from fossil fuel executives and I am not doing that tonight,” he highlighted. “Climate change presents an existential threat, and it is real.”
Ahead of the fundraiser, senior Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders stressed on Twitter that “VP Biden signed a pledge not to take money from fossil fuel executives. He stands by it, and he has not violated it.”
She also argued that “Andrew Goldman isn't a fossil fuel executive. He's not involved in the day to day operation. He's not on the board of the company, nor the board of the portfolio company.”
But LNG Western still lists on their company website that Goldman’s part of their “leadership” team and his LinkedIn profile lists that he still works for the company.