Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), whose campaign is running largely on the issue of climate change, may increase his private jet usage during the Senate impeachment trial, allowing him to jet back and forth between D.C. and early primary and caucus states, his senior campaign adviser Jeff Weaver stated this week.
While the Senate has not set the parameters of the upcoming impeachment trial and House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) has yet to transmit the articles to the upper chamber, senators — particularly those who are also running presidential campaigns — are beginning to strategize on how they will effectively balance the trial and their respective campaigns.
Sanders’ campaign, which raised a massive $34.5 million in the final quarter of 2019, does not seem too worried. Weaver, Sanders’ senior campaign adviser, suggested that the presidential hopeful will simply increase his private jet usage, commuting from D.C. to early voting states as needed.
As NBC reported:
Sanders’ war chest, including his field-leading $34.5 million haul in the last quarter of 2019, allows him flexibility that other contenders can’t match — including the use of private jets to ferry him back and forth for late rallies in early states.
“They’re not going to be meeting at night [for the trial], so we can obviously fly from D.C. to states and hold events in the evening and fly back, you know, so he can be back in the morning to do his work in the Senate,” Weaver told NBC News.
“He’s an energetic candidate,” he added. “He has a very vigorous schedule, and, you know, he can do that.”
While it appears to be a viable solution, it stands in stark contrast to Sanders’ calls for urgent action to combat climate change, which he once called the “greatest threat to our national security.”
“We don’t have decades. What the scientists are telling us — if we don’t get our act together within the next eight or nine years, we’re talking about cities all over the world — major cities — going underwater,” Sanders said during November’s debate.
Sanders, who spent $360,000 on private air travel in the third quarter of 2019, would hardly be the first self-described climate concerned candidate to increase his carbon footprint and embrace private air travel for convenience. Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on private air travel as well. The former vice president spent nearly $1 million over a three-month span alone last year, as Breitbart News detailed.
Meanwhile, Warren has claimed that she fights climate change by “mostly” flying commercial.
Former New York City mayor and presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg (D), who considers himself a “global leader” on issues related to climate change, has also done little to alter his carbon footprint in the sky, owning a fleet of private jets.
Warren has not detailed her plans for balancing her campaign during the trial, but Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) signaled that they would participate in video-conferencing calls in early states and embrace the use of campaign surrogates, according to NBC News.