This week Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker lashed out at Bernie Sanders for accepting campaign donations from pharmaceutical company executives.
“Senator Sanders, in a major speech this week, saying all candidates should reject money from the healthcare industry,” said Costa, who then asked, “Would you do so?”
“Well, we immediately heard him and looked at his standards, and we saw that he took money from people we wouldn’t take money from,” Booker pushed back. “So the question, and we’re happy to talk more about that, but I know where Senator Sanders heart is, and he’s absolutely right that we should, it’s hard to campaign wrong and then govern right.”
Sanders, an advocate for what he has touted as “Medicare for All” has called on Democratic candidates to pledge that they would reject any political donations from pharmaceutical industry executives, lobbyists or insurance executives for more than $200. Booker who has accepted donations from the pharmaceutical industry in the past, earlier this month returned a $2,800 contribution from an exec, according to ABC News.
“So before I was even running for president, as a senator I took an audit and said okay, what are the kind of resources we’re taking that we shouldn’t, that’s when we gave up,” Booker continued. “We took the anti-Citizens United pledge and said my campaign would not take corporate PAC money, C-suite pharma executives.”
“But you’ll still take some healthcare money?” Costas inquired.
“Again, we are not taking corporate PAC money, we’re not taking pharma executives, we have our standards, he has his,” Booker said, then once more noted “We see him taking money that we wouldn’t take, I have a feeling he’ll return that money, but I’m glad to see all of us now setting standards for how campaigns should be run.”
“I wish we saw the same thing happening on the Republican side,” he added. “I wish we actually had a bipartisan commitment like John McCain had in his early days, to deal with the corrupting force of money and politics.”