Sanders Slams Trump Donor Sheldon Adelson; Doesn’t Mention Clinton’s Past Ties to Billionaire
During his Oregon primary victory speech in Carson, California Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders advocated for campaign finance reform as he often does. He also cast an eye toward the general election.
“If we as a great nation do not get our act together, this nation is going to slip into an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires control our political and economic life," Sanders said.
According to Sanders, there's something even crazier than the billionaire Koch brothers contributing $40 million in an attempt to make the US Senate stay Republican.
"A guy named Sheldon Adelson, also one of the wealthiest people in America, a billionaire who is prepared to contribute huge sums of money to another billionaire named Donald Trump," Sanders told the crowd.
The crowd booed. Earlier this week, Adelson endorsed Donald Trump, "vowing financial support to the presumptive GOP nominee as the presidential race enters the general election," the Los Angeles Times reported.
"I am endorsing Trump’s bid for president and strongly encourage my fellow Republicans — especially our Republican elected officials, party loyalists and operatives, and those who provide important financial backing — to do the same [because] the alternative to Trump being sworn in as the nation’s 45th president is frightening," Adelson said.
Trump wasn't the only candidate Adelson considered. In January, Adelson and his wife—who together, contributed over $100 million in 2012—were reported to be waffling between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Trump mocked Adelson's leaning toward Rubio, claiming he would spend big money to "mold [Rubio] into his perfect little puppet."
A little further back, in October 2014, Hillary Clinton met Adelson for the first time at a Las Vegas fundraising dinner honoring the major Republican donor at an event at which Clinton's speaking fee may have been upward of $200,000.
Adelson initially doubted Trump’s interest in Israel's defense, the most important issue for Adelson.
Mondoweiss ran a piece titled, "And the winner of the Sheldon Adelson primary is… Hillary Clinton" in February. "Why shouldn’t Sheldon Adelson go to Hillary Clinton? Why shouldn’t he be pleased as punch by Hillary Clinton and quietly building his bridges to her?" Mondoweiss asked.
Adelson, however, decided to throw his lot in with Trump, not Clinton.
Adelson has worked closely with one of Clinton's largest donors, Haim Saban, who has given over $6 million to Clinton's campaign. Saban left their pro-Israel coalition last fall due to some of Adelson's far-right policies, but said “when it comes to Israel, [Adelson and I] are absolutely on the same page."
Watch Sanders' victory speech in Carson, California: