Elizabeth Warren Stands Up For Women Candidates, Continues To Make Billionaires Cry

Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Following Sen. Kamala Harris’ announcement yesterday that she is suspending her campaign for president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren issued a statement of support — and a rebuke to billionaires who have managed to stay in the 2020 race.
In a fundraising email sent on Wednesday, Warren praised her colleagues Harris and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, writing, "Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand — who, together, won more than 11.5 million votes in their last elections — have been forced out of this race, while billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have been allowed to buy their way in."
Steyer, founder of the hedge fund Farallon Capital, which has invested in private prisons and coal, is one of the six candidates to qualify for the December 19 presidential primary debate so far. To qualify, candidates must have hit either 4% in four national or early-state polls or 6% in two early-state polls, while also receiving contributions from at least 200,000 donors.
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Former New York City Mayor Bloomberg entered the race late in the game. Worth an estimated $54 billion, he has already invested $35 million of his own money into campaign ads over the past week, and saw his polling numbers rise to around 5%. However, because Bloomberg has vowed not to take campaign contributions, he will not qualify for any of the remaining Democratic debates.
In her email, Warren decried Steyer and Bloomberg's candidacies, declaring that, "Our democracy should not be for sale, and yet, billionaires have been able to use their money to buy this election outright." Warren has pledged not to take campaign contributions from federal lobbyists or PACs and take no more than $200 from fossil fuel and pharma executives, although she did begin her campaign with a $10 million fund, in part from wealthy donors from her 2018 Senate run.
Warren's statement sets up what will surely be a bizarre dynamic for the upcoming debate. With fewer women (particularly women of color) on the stage, the conversation is sure to narrow. And Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who have both taken a public stance against billionaires and wealth disparity, now face a challenge from two men with bottomless reserves of money.
Warren had another candid moment on Wednesday when she described her difficult relationship with her mother on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Below, watch our exclusive clip of Warren's interview, airing at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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