Magazine article American Banker

Wall Street Campaign Dollars Won't Buy Leniency, Clinton Vows

Magazine article American Banker

Wall Street Campaign Dollars Won't Buy Leniency, Clinton Vows

Article excerpt

Byline: Ian McKendry

WASHINGTON -- Large banks are not buying preferential treatment by contributing to her campaign, Hillary Clinton insisted again on Thursday, attempting to rebut charges leveled at her by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Clinton, who remains the front-runner for the Democratic nomination but faces an unexpectedly tough primary fight from Sanders, pointed to contributions received by President Obama from the financial sector before he was elected.

"I debated then-Senator Obama numerous times on stages like this, and he was the recipient of the largest number of Wall Street donations of anybody running on the Democratic side ever," Clinton said. "Now, when it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street. He pushed through, and he passed the Dodd-Frank regulation, the toughest regulations since the 1930s."

Yet Sanders said it was naive to think that big businesses donate millions of dollars and expect nothing in return.

"People aren't dumb," Sanders said. "Why in God's name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it; they want to throw money around."

During the campaign, Sanders has been a fierce critic of the campaign finance system and has emphasized the difference between his financial support and Clinton's.

"Now, Secretary Clinton's super PAC, as I understand it, received $25 million last reporting period, $15 million from Wall Street," Sanders said. "Our average contribution is $27. I'm very proud of that. …

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