Politics

Sen. Warren Swears Off Big Money For Election Campaign — Sort Of

JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she will extend her promise to swear off big money to any potential general election campaign, but her campaign isn’t ruling out Democratic National Committee (DNC) fundraisers.

Warren told CBS News Tuesday night that she now intends to keep refusing big money support even if she faces off against the fundraising skills of President Donald Trump. That pledge is a reversal of her previous admission that she would have to fight fire with fire by accepting money from big donors in any general election contest.

Trump supporters pose for photos on Sunset Blvd as the US president attends a fundraiser nearby, in Beverly Hills, California, on April 5, 2019. - US President Donald Trump visited the Mexican border on April 5 to deliver a message to would-be illegal immigrants and asylum seekers: don't bother coming. "The system is full and we can't take you anymore... Our country is full," he said at a meeting with border patrol officers and other officials in Calexico, California. "So turn around, that's the way it is." (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump supporters pose for photos on Sunset Blvd as the US president attends a fundraiser nearby, in Beverly Hills, California, on Apr. 5, 2019. – (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

“Look, for me this is pretty straightforward,” Warren told CBS. “Either you think democracy works and electing a president is all about going behind closed doors with bazillionaires and corporate executives and lobbyists and scooping up as much money as possible. Or you think it’s about a grass-roots, let’s build this from the ground up.” (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Unrolls A Tax Plan On The Super Wealthy)

“Yeah, I’m not going to do the big-dollar fund-raisers. I’m just not going to do it. The whole notion behind this campaign is that we can build this together,” she added.

But the Warren campaign was less than unequivocal in that denunciation on Wednesday, telling The New York Times that the candidate would entertain hosting big money events for the DNC if it would assist her fellow Democrats “up and down the ballot.” (RELATED: Elizabeth Warren Says She Was Pushed Out Of Teaching Job For Being ‘Visibly Pregnant,” But She Told A Different Story In 2007)

However, many big Democratic donors are saying if left-wing Warren takes the Democratic nomination, they will take their money and run.

Like her opponent Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Warren has been successful in appealing to the small money donations; she has raised $24.6 million  in the last quarter from 940,000 donations — close to Sanders’ tally of $25.3 million.

U.S. democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren holds an outdoor rally in San Diego, California, U.S., October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

U.S. democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren holds an outdoor rally in San Diego, California, U.S., Oct. 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

As The Times notes, Warren’s fundraising strategy would appear to be a compromise between continuing to appeal to the rank and file Democrats who see her as a principled politician above the grasp of money and the realists who know the cost of campaigning for a presidential election is exorbitant.

Warren already attended a big-ticket DNC fundraiser in August, but she did not spend time soliciting wealthy contributors for donations, according to The Times.

The Warren campaign would not divulge whether the senator planned on using the DNC as a de facto fundraising organ for her campaign.