An aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) presidential campaign said the candidate’s top financial adviser is stepping down, allegedly because of the senator’s decision to reject money from wealthy donors.
Michael Pratt is reportedly still involved with Warren’s campaign as a consultant but will eventually leave, CNN reports.
The aide told CNN Sunday morning that Pratt was “still a consultant but winding things down and transitioning out since we made the decision not to have (Warren) do high dollar events.”
News of the departure came at the close of the first quarter fundraising deadline. In the coming days, a more complete picture of the Warren campaign’s fundraising efforts is expected to come into focus. Her team has so far not released any early fundraising numbers, raising speculation that she is lagging behind her competitors.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Pratt resigned after a Valentine’s Day meeting in Washington that eventually “grew heated,” in which Pratt “noted that campaigns often collapse when they run out of money and pleaded with her not to cut off a significant cash stream.”
“He pointed out that winning over wealthy fund-raisers across the country helped build networks that could translate into political support, not just checks,” the report in the Times said. “But Mr. Pratt lost the argument to two of Ms. Warren’s closest advisers, Dan Geldon and Joe Rospars, who made the case about standing apart from the field and freeing up her schedule.”
Warren has vowed not to allow wealthy donors to support her campaign in any way, including holding fundraising events or attending dinner or receptions with them.
CNN also cited a “senior” Warren aide in its report that said her decision “to skip high-dollar fundraisers and outreach was made with full recognition of the trade-offs.”
“The aide pointed to the unusually expansive territory Warren has been able to cover so far beyond a handful of early states — including a Southern campaign swing to Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee earlier this month, and a rally in Long Island City, New York — as well as her robust policy rollouts,” CNN reported.
Warren has responded directly to CNN about what the news outlet calls her “small-dollar grassroots-focused fundraising strategy.”
“You know, in life, there are some people who have more money, there are some people who have less money,” Warren said. “But everybody should have an equal share of our democracy.”
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