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Andrew Gillum Thanks Big Out-of-State Money: ‘I’m Deeply Appreciative of Mr. Soros…Mr. Steyer’

On Meet the Press on Sunday, host Chuck Todd interviewed Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum on several topics relating to his campaign, and to politics in general. At one point, Todd asked Gillum about the big money he’s received. Making no bones about it, Gillum directly thanked George Soros and Tom Steyer, without whose donations Gillum’s campaign may not have survived the primary.

“You ran as an unabashed Progressive Democrat. You’re for Medicare for all, you talk about getting rid of I.C.E. And some things there,” said Todd. “But I’m curious, one of the things, you were supported by two billionaires who came in and helped your campaign and largely your campaign early on was funded by them, George Soros and Tom Steyer.”

“How do you square a populist progressive campaign that wants to get big money, you know among other things, get big money out of politics, get dark money out of politics,” he continued, “and yet it’s billionaires that have to prop up your campaign?”

“Well, I’ll tell you, I’m obviously deeply appreciative of Mr. Soros, as well as Mr. Steyer, both men who I’ve known them for some time, said Gillum. “But our campaign was propped up by a lot of small contributions including my mother who was on auto deduct of $20 a month into our campaign.”

Gillum said that small donors will be what makes his bid successful, which is a boiler-plate answer. Todd then asked whether the party is giving enough support to the campaign, noting the million dollar influx from the Democratic Governors Association was viewed as rather small in light of the size and importance of the Florida race and media markets. “Some Democrats say there was a zero missing there, do you think they’re showing you enough support?”

“Well I will tell you, Chuck, I have every anticipation and expectation that the DGA is going to come into this race strong,” said Gillum.

But the question, whether reliance and acceptance of big bucks from outside donors like Soros is contrary to the progressive message, was not answered. Gillum dodged the question entirely, and Todd did not circle back to it.

It was, however, a topic on Kasie DC on MSNBC later in the day, as host Kasie Hunt noted that Democrats in general oppose the idea and in fact are “demanding their candidates say ‘I will not take this kind of money’.”

“Make no bones about it. Money still is extremely useful in campaigns,” said guest New York Times reporter Ken Vogel.

Hunt pointed out that while the Soros and Steyer infusions may have been critical to Gillum, he was nevertheless far outspent by his primary opponents.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of NBC.

[Featured image via screengrab]

Follow Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) on Twitter

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