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Sanders to Hillary on Wall Street Ties: ‘Let’s Not Insult the Intelligence of the American People’


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Thursday night at PBS Democratic presidential primary debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) challenged his opponent Hillary Clinton on her Wall Street contributions.

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Sanders said, “This has blown me away. Never in a million years would I have believed I would be standing here tonight saying that we have received $3.5 million individual contributions from well over a million people. Now, Secretary Clinton’s super PAC, as I understand it, received $25 million last reporting period, $15 million from Wall Street. Our average contribution is $27. I’m very proud of that.”

Clinton said, “Let me respond. We are mixing apples and oranges. My 750,000 donors have contributed donations. That demonstrates the strength of support we have among people who want to see change in our country. But the real issue I think the senator is injecting into this is that if you had a super PAC, like President Obama had, which now says it wants to support me—it’s not my PAC—if you take donations from Wall Street, you can’t be independent. I debated President Obama numerous times. He was the recipient of the largest number of donations ever. When it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street. He pushed through and he passed the Dodd-Frank regulation, the toughest regulations since the 1930s. So let’s not in any way imply here that either President Obama or myself would in any way not take on any vested interest, whether it’s Wall Street or drug companies or insurance companies or frankly the gun lobby to stand up to do what’s best for the American people!”

Sanders said, “Let’s not insult the intelligence of the American people. People aren’t dumb. Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it. They want to throw money around. Why does the pharmaceutical industry make any contribution? Any connection to our people paying the highest amount of money for prescription drugs? Why does the fossil fuel industry pay huge amounts of money in contributions? Any connection to the fact that not one Republican candidate for president thinks and agrees with the scientific community that climate change is real and this we have got to transform our energy system? And when we talk about Wall Street, let’s talk about Wall Street. I voted for Dodd-Frank. Got an important amendment in it. My view, it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. But when we talk about Wall Street, you have Wall Street and major banks have paid $200 billion in fines since the great crash. No Wall Street executive has been prosecuted.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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