Bernie Sanders schooled Chuck Todd after the Meet The Press host suggested that Jeb Bush’s departure from the Republican race meant that the Sanders message on Citizens United was resonating.
You know, it’s interesting. The guy who had the bigger super PAC of all time had to drop out of the race. Jeb Bush outspent everybody. He it’s arguably had more special interests supporting his candidacy. Isn’t sort of the people already overturning Citizens United, isn’t your message, and Donald Trump, who have done this without super PACs, isn’t this already resonating?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS:
No, well, in some ways it is. But I think, you know, if you looked at Jeb Bush’s campaign, it’s more than just money. It’s the nature of the candidate and the message and all that stuff. Look, but let me give you an example. Right now, we have raised, as I understand it, Chuck, more contributions from people than Hillary Clinton has. But she’s now going into the super PAC that she has which comes from Wall Street and very wealthy individuals. She will be outspending us in the next number of weeks, precisely because of that super PAC. Do these things matter? Yes, they do.
Todd tried to draw a political connection between Jeb Bush’s flop and Citizens United, but he completely missed the main point. Jeb Bush is out of the Republican race because he ran a terrible campaign. Bush blew through $150 million in three states. He should have had enough money to last through the entire primary. Instead, Bush himself was dialing for dollars in the week before the South Carolina primary.
The problem is that Jeb Bush was able to raise $150 million from a handful of the wealthiest Americans. The only reason that Bush dropped out of the race was that the money men closed their checkbooks and decided that Marco Rubio is their best chance to beat Trump.
It was the millionaires and billionaires, not the voters who killed Jeb Bush’s campaign. Bush’s demise had less to do with voters, and everything to do with dollars. It’s the billionaires who are thinning the Republican field.
Chuck Todd, like most members of the corporate media, doesn’t understand the campaign finance system and the damage that Citizens United is doing to the nation’s elections.
Sanders was correct in pointing out that the problem is the amount of money being thrown into the campaign finance system by the wealthy. Todd’s equation of Bush’s demise to Citizens United was the equivalent of Republicans who deny climate change when the temperature hits a record low.
Bernie Sanders gave Todd a quick lesson on why it is foolish to link the success or failure of one candidate to the issue of Citizens United.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association