As New York Votes Top Clinton Adviser Hits Sanders On Not Raising Money For Democrats

Top Clinton adviser Joel Benenson criticized Bernie Sanders for not raising any money in 2016 to help Democrats take back the House and Senate.

Video and transcript via MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports:


MITCHELL: Are you getting in-kind contributions from the DNC…

BENENSON: Andrea, a…

MITCHELL: — because — because of these joint fundraising…



BENENSON: — I don’t know the ins and outs of the agreement.


BENENSON: What I know is this is the same agreement that was signed by Senator Sanders, signed by President Barack Obama, signed by the nominee before President Barack Obama, John Kerry. These agreements to raise money to help the state parties and candidates up and down the Democratic ticket, something Hillary Clinton feels passionately about, is — has been done the same way for all these years.

I believe that we’re doing everything the right way. I believe that we’re doing what candidates should be doing.

It’s interesting that Senator Sanders is not raising money right now to help Democrats. And the threat we face coming from the Republicans, whether it’s Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, is one that we have to fight hard against, not just to win the presidency, but to elect more senators and congressmen so that we can actually get things done.

There are some interesting potentially developing unintended consequences unfolding surrounding the Sanders allegations of Clinton/DNC campaign finance violations. The Sanders allegations have been debunked by fact-checkers and some experts are suggesting that the allegations are nothing more than “sour grapes.”

The unintended consequence is that by criticizing Clinton for the fundraisers, Sanders opened the door to an examination of how little he is doing to help Democratic candidates get elected in House and Senate races in 2016. By his own admission, Sen. Sanders has raised money for Democratic candidates in the past but has done nothing for the party that he wants to lead in 2016. Sanders isn’t raising money to help Democrats take back the House and Senate this year, and the increased turnout that he has touted as responsible for his victories has been exposed by PolitFact as largely a myth.

The next five Democratic primaries are closed primaries, and sixth in Rhode Island is semi-closed. Bernie Sanders may have indirectly fueled the concerns of some Democrats that he is only in this primary for himself by not raising money for Democrats and accusing the DNC of campaign finance violations.

Sen. Sanders may by hurting himself with very voters that he has to win over to become the nominee. The Sanders campaign was trying to define Clinton, but they may have defined themselves for Democratic voters who are voting in closed primaries.