Notorious big bank-hater Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) found himself in a most awkward position on Tuesday:
Bernie Sanders at Washington Post interview: “Is Bank of America really sponsoring this?”
Everyone laughs and the interviewer uncomfortably says, let’s just get into the interview. Lol pic.twitter.com/X1fV1cSWIF
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) July 16, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) prompted a crowd to break into laughter on Tuesday after he questioned whether Bank of America was “really sponsoring” his public interview with The Washington Post.
Sanders’s remark came after The Post’s publisher and CEO Fred Ryan thanked Bank of America for sponsoring the event, which is part of the outlet’s series on 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, and introduced Sanders on stage.
“Is Bank of America really sponsoring this?” Sanders quipped after shaking hands with Post reporter Robert Costa, drawing laughter from the crowd and applause from Costa.
Costa then looked around to spot a Bank of America logo on the screen behind him before turning back to Sanders and replying, “let’s just get into the interview.”
Sanders and his 2020 primary opponent Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have practically built their careers on railing against big banks, Wall Street, and almost anything having to do with the financial industry.
That may work well for whipping the “gimme, gimme, gimme!” know-nothings into a frenzy during a Senate or presidential primary campaign, but could be problematic should either prevail and become the nominee.
According to Open Secrets, contributions from the financial sector dwarfed all others in the 2016 election. In fact, the sector has been at the top of the contributions list for every presidential election since Open Secrets began tracking donations.
It’s never an even split, but the money is spread around. Forty-six percent of the financial sector’s contributions in the 2016 cycle went to the Democrats.
It’s nice to have a lot of small donors financially bolstering a campaign, and Sanders and Warren will no doubt eschew big bank contributions in the general election, at least publicly.
Should that scenario ever come to pass, the money they could be getting from the banks and Wall Street will be used to defeat them.
Republicans should be crossing their fingers that one of these two makes it onto the ticket next year.