WASHINGTON – Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders donated more than $1.2 million in two days after he was attacked by a super PAC backing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In a message that Sanders will send to supporters on Friday, he thanked them “for standing up to ugly, negative campaigning.”
In just 48 hours, Sanders’ donors gave $1.2 million to his Democratic presidential campaign after Correct the Record, the Clinton-backing super PAC, attempted to link Sanders and the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. The average donation was $23.
“I hope that sends a very clear message that the American people are sick and tired of politics as usual and negative campaigning,” Sanders said in the email thanking his supporters.
“We’ve never seen an immediate donor response like what the Sanders campaign received on Tuesday. At one point, it drove 180 contributions through our platform per minute,” said Erin Hill, executive director of ActBlue, the fundraising firm. “Over its 11-year history ActBlue has sent money to over eleven-thousand campaigns and committees — and the Bernie Sanders campaign holds the record for the two biggest donor days ever for a campaign on our platform.”
The reaction was to the attempt by David Brock of the Clinton super PAC to link Sanders and Chavez. The “connection” was that Sanders and former Rep. Joseph Kennedy (D-Mass.) worked together to help provide Vermonters and other low-income New England residents with affordable home heating oil supplied by the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, CITGO.
“Frankly what the Clinton Super PAC is doing is nothing new. It’s the same-old, same-old negative politics that has gone on for years: throw mud and hope some of it sticks,” Sanders wrote. “We are fighting for a different kind of politics. Instead of hurling dishonest or out-of-context charges, we are trying to run an issue-oriented campaign – focusing on the most important concerns of the American people.”
Sanders said he looks forward to debating the regulation of Wall Street, trade policies, health care, college costs, climate change, Social Security and other important issues. “Those are important issues where honest people can have legitimate disagreements. Let’s have that debate, but let’s not throw mud and continue playing the political games that have turned off millions of Americans,” Sanders wrote.