MSNBC on ‘Dichotomy’ of Democrats Taking Big Money While Condemning It: They ‘Would Rather Have Money’


“Big Money” was a big topic on NBC news programming today, as first Chuck Todd discussed it with an appreciative Andrew Gillum, and then Kasie Hunt brought up the issue for Democrats overall on her MSNBC show Kasie DC. The question: how to square democrat messaging with democrat funding.

On Meet the Press, Chuck Todd framed it rather succinctly, asking Florida Democrat Gillum about the apparent disconnect.

“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, and yet it’s billionaires that have to prop up your campaign?” he asked.

Kasie Hunt had rather the same question, but on a larger scale. Addressing the question to guest Kenneth Vogel of the New York Times, she discussed the “incredible amount of money is already flying around as the mid terms take off.”

“A new Axios analysis shows more than $500 million have been donated to house candidates so far, 73% of it from outside of candidates’ districts,” said Hunt in her intro.

She cited a number of big funders of both Democrats and Republicans in House races, including George Soros, Tom Steyer, the Koch network, and more, but also drew specific attention to the messaging difficulties presented for Democrats.

“Ken Vogel, my question for you is whether the laws of gravity that used to apply to campaign finance still do in the age of Trump,” she asked. “Because it does seem as though there can be some backlash to the idea of somebody who has blanketed the airwaves with all of the special interest money, especially among Democrats– they are explicitly rejecting, or asking — demanding that their candidates say ‘I will not take this kind of money.'”

“I mean, make no bones about it, money still is extremely useful in campaigns,” said Vogel. “And candidates would much rather have money than be outspent.”

“Of course, essential,” said Hunt. “Is it still buying the same things is the question?”

“I think the point that you raise is right, and there is a dichotomy here on the left particularly” Vogel said, “where small dollar donors are seen as both a way to fund your campaign, potentially in a more sustainable fashion that doesn’t require you to kowtow to major donors, and then also as a selling point, it’s a rhetorical sort of cudgel that you can use over a primary opponent or a midterm opponent, saying ‘I’m funded by small donors, you’re taking large money and are somehow beholden to major donors.”

On Meet the Press, after thanking both Soros and Steyer, candidate Gillum still used that exact argument, emphasizing that he has been and intends to be funded by small donors.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of MSNBC.

[Featured image via screengrab]

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