Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has criticized Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton for taking millions from pharmaceutical companies in a new fundraising email that frames her as beholden to the industry.
“I don’t go around asking millionaires and billionaires for money. You know that. I don’t think I’m going to get a whole lot of contributions from the health care and pharmaceutical industries,” he wrote in the note from Wednesday.
Sanders went on to remind supporters that he turned down a donation from Martin Shkreli, the CEO who raised prices on AIDS medications and is now charged with financial crimes. Both Sanders and Clinton repudiated Shkreli when that decision went public.
Then Sanders shifted toward a critique on Clinton.
“Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, has received millions of dollars from the health care and pharmaceutical industries, a number that is sure to rise as time goes on,” he wrote, arguing that Clinton has raised more money from the healthcare industry than the top three Republican candidates combined.
“Now, and let’s not be naive about this, maybe they are dumb and don’t know what they are going to get? But I don’t think that’s the case, and I don’t believe you do either.”
Clinton has raised about $1.1 million
from the pharmaceuticals or health products industries this cycle, according to data from Open Secrets. That’s the 14th highest total from any industry or group that has given to Clinton, according to Open Secrets. The group giving the most money to Clinton — $7.66 million — is retirees.