Elizabeth Warren Recalls a Time When Big Donors May Have Changed Hillary’s Vote
At last night’s Democratic town hall, Hillary Clinton challenged critics who describe her as too close to monied interests to name a time when that cozy relationship influenced her policy decisions.
A tweet from investigative journalist David Sirota reminded us that, in a 2004 interview with Bill Moyers, Elizabeth Warren pointed to a time when donors’ interests may have changed Hillary Clinton’s position.
Warren — at the time a Harvard law professor — recounted how, in the 1990s, she wrote an editorial opposing a proposed piece of legislation tightening bankruptcy laws. Warren explained that it would disproportionately hurt single mothers. Hillary Clinton, at the time the first lady, read the editorial, and asked for a meeting with Warren. The meeting went well; Warren said she “never had a smarter student.” Afterward, Clinton returned to Washington and, according to her biography, persuaded Bill Clinton to veto the legislation.
But when Hillary Clinton was elected to the Senate and another version of the same bill came to the floor, she did an about face:
ELIZABETH WARREN: She voted in favor of it.
BILL MOYERS: Why?
ELIZABETH WARREN: As Senator Clinton, the pressures are very different. It’s a well-financed industry. You know a lot of people don’t realize that the industry that gave the most money to Washington over the past few years was not the oil industry, was not pharmaceuticals. It was consumer credit products. Those are the people. The credit card companies have been giving money, and they have influence.
BILL MOYERS: And Mrs. Clinton was one of them as senator.
ELIZABETH WARREN: She has taken money from the groups, and more to the point, she worries about them as a constituency.
It took a couple of hours to give a response on Clinton’s challenge. Hillary for President? Are you kidding me?