Warren calls out Buttigieg, Bloomberg for funding methods at Democratic unity event

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks to Democrat donors at an IWillVote fundraiser event in Boston, Dec 5. 2019. Photo by Katharine Swindells/ BU News Service

By Katharine Swindells 
BU News Service

BOSTON — The event was about unity, supposedly, and raising money for Democratic candidates at all levels across the country. And in her speech Warren played along, joining the other speakers in their resolve to support the presidential nominee, whoever they turn out to be.

But once she left the stage as she finished the closing speech, the gloves were off at the fourth fundraising event of the year for IWillVote, a Democratic voter-mobilization program, hosted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the Westin Boston Waterfront. The gala hosted over 200 donors for dinner and speeches. 

Warren first called out South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for a lack of transparency in his campaign finances, bringing attention to his private fundraisers.

“He should open up the doors so that the press can follow the promises he’s making,” she said. “People are deeply concerned about corruption, they are deeply concerned about a government that works better and better for the wealthy and well-connected.”

Warren also targeted former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for being able to “buy his way” into the race.

“Michael Bloomberg just did a $37 million ad buy in one week while he skips the usual part of democracy, like shaking hands with people and hearing directly about their concerns,” she told a group of reporters after the gala.

In the wake of Kamala Harris’ recent drop out, Warren sounded the alarm about the possibility that December’s debate may be an all-white line up.

“There’s a chance there will not be a single person of color on that stage,” she said. “Women have been forced out of this race at a time when millionaires can buy their way.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks to Democrat donors at an IWillVote fundraiser event in Boston, Dec 5. 2019. Photo by Katharine Swindells/ BU News Service

DNC leaders on stage urged voters to support whichever democratic candidate ultimately wins the nomination.

“I would rather be with a Democrat who I agree with 90% of the time than deal with a Republican I disagree with 99% of the time,” DNC Vice Chair Michael Blake told the crowd in his speech. “It is time for us to come together as a party and be here as one.”

Tom Perez, chair of the DNC, called unity the “greatest strength” of the Democratic Party in his speech and praised the presidential nominees for taking a pledge to support whoever the winning candidate is.

“They took the pledge with confidence and conviction and enthusiasm,” Perez said. “Yes, they want to win the nomination, but they have said clearly and unequivocally, ‘I will support whoever the nominee is. I will do so with enthusiasm. I will help raise money for the DNC because we recognize that we all succeed when the DNC succeeds.’”

While the audience applauded these statements, it was clear who the crowd had come to see.

“You guys all for Warren here?” one attendee asked those around her. 

“Yeah!” her table mates laughed. Next to them, a woman clutched a handful of Warren yard signs for distribution.

The crowd broke into raucous applause when Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey voiced her endorsement of Warren and all politely lined up for their chance of a selfie afterward.

These voters were outspoken about their allegiance to Warren, as the candidate pool thins ahead of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

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