Video has emerged of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton telling an anti-fossil fuels activist on the campaign trail in Dover, N.H. on Wednesday that the $150,000 she has received in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry “is not very much” money.
Clinton, who once came under fire for claiming that she was “dead broke” after leaving the White House in 2001, first claimed ignorance about the donations when an activist with the environmental group 350 Action asked her whether she would be willing to “take a stand against any more campaign contributions” from Big Oil. Clinton’s Democratic challenger, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, has pledged not to accept money from the industry.
“Yeah, I don’t even know what you’re referring to, but big oil knows I’m not their friends, so they must have put it in the wrong envelope,” Clinton responded.
After the event the same activist approached Clinton, asking her: “How will you change campaign finance reform if you don’t know where the finances are coming for your own campaign?”
“Oh, you know what, when you’ve raised $120 million, $150,000 is not very much,” Clinton said. “Let’s be honest, let’s be honest.” Hillary Clinton Has The Most To Lose In The Martin Shkreli Fiasco
“It’s contradictory to what you’re values are,” the activist responded.
“It is not. Look, I know you’re for Bernie, I appreciate that, but I’ve got to tell you, I have fought for campaign finance reform,” Clinton said.
Clinton has actually received more donations from the oil and gas business than the $150,000 figure that was being bandied about. That was the total contributions she had received as of Sept. 30. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which has updated its figures following the release of the most recent campaign finance reports, Clinton has accepted $226,554 in contributions from oil and gas companies so far during her campaign. And that doesn’t include money raised by lobbyists for the industry. It also does not include the nearly $785,000 she accepted when she was in the Senate.
This is not the first time Clinton has fielded questions about campaign money from the oil and gas industry. It’s also not the first time she’s pretended not to know she’s accepted the donations.
Clinton was asked a similar question on the campaign trail in December.
When asked, Clinton said, “I don’t know that I ever have [accepted the donations],” adding, “I’m not exactly one of their favorites.”
When someone in the audience told her she had accepted the contributions, Clinton responded, “Have I? OK, well I’ll check on that.”
“They certainly haven’t made that much of an impression on me if I don’t even know it.”