Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is calling out Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for her alleged abrupt shift in attitude toward big campaign donors.
As detailed in a New York Times report, Warren’s Democratic presidential bid has featured a grassroots approach to fundraising that's considerably different than her Senate campaigns. While she's shunned lavish fundraisers from wealthy donors this time around, the article detailed how she still benefits from having raised millions from them in years past. Her 2020 campaign reportedly is boosted by $10.4 million in leftover donations from her 2018 Senate campaign.
“Can you spell hypocrite?” Rendell, a Democrat, told the Times. Rendell is backing former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 race, though he gave $4,000 to Warren’s 2018 Senate campaign. He told the Times that he also brought in other donors for an expensive fundraiser at Philadelphia’s high-end Barclay Prime restaurant.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell speaks at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia on June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Rendell similarly co-hosted a fundraiser for Biden, only for Warren to blast it as “a swanky private fundraiser for wealthy donors,” Rendell noted.
“She didn’t have any trouble taking our money the year before,” he told the Times. “All of a sudden, we were bad guys and power brokers and influence-peddlers. In 2018, we were wonderful.”
Kristen Orthman, Ms. Warren’s communications director, said the senator “believes that to take back the White House we need to build a grass-roots movement.”
“When we made the decision to run the campaign this way, the players in the usual money-for-influence game dismissed it as naïve and said it would never work and it would kill the campaign,” Ms. Orthman said. “We’re pleased that our grass-roots strategy has been so effective that they’re now threatened enough to be attacking us for it.”
Past Warren fundraisers have been hosted by notable figures including "Lost" creator Damon Lindelof and his wife; NASDAQ Vice Chairman Meyer Frucher; and billionaires Henry and Marsha Laufer.