Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell says Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a being “hypocrite” for criticizing her 2020 presidential rivals for raising money from the wealthy donors that she has relied on in the past and is still benefiting from.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Mr. Rendell, who has endorsed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden for president, wrote he has been a big fan of Ms. Warren, but said the Massachusetts Democrat’s anti-big donor pledge rings hollow.
“I like her a lot,” he said. “Too bad she’s a hypocrite.”
Mr. Rendell highlighted how Ms. Warren transferred $10.4 million from her Senate reelection campaign — including money from the kinds of big donor fundraisers she criticizes on the campaign trail — into her presidential bid, giving her a head start on most of her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Mr. Rendell accused her of “trying to have it both ways — get the political upside from eschewing donations from higher-level donor and running a grass-roots campaign, while at the same time using money obtained from those donors in 2018.”
The beef is personal, he said, noting that Ms. Warren was happy to attend private fundraisers and take his money before she launched her presidential bid.
In fact, Mr. Rendell said, he received a “glowing, handwritten thank-you letter from her for my hard work.”
Since then, though, she has criticized former Mr. Biden for holding a campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, where Mr. Rendell served as mayor, with some of the same wealthy donors that cut checks to her Senate bid.
“Well, I helped organize that affair, and I thought her attack was extremely hypocritical because nearly 20 of us who attended the Biden fundraiser had also given her $2,000 or more in 2018 at close-door fundraisers in ‘swanky’ locations,” he said. “Warren didn’t seem to have any trouble taking our money in 2018, but suddenly we were power brokers and influence peddlers in 2019.”
Ms. Warren has been on the rise in the 2020 Democratic presidential race.
The criticism comes as she prepared to square off with Mr. Biden and eight of her rivals at the third presidential debate in Houston.
• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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