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Warren Now Says Her Pledge To Skip Big-Money Fundraisers Would Extend Into General Election

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks in SEIU Unions For All Summit on Oct. 4 in Los Angeles. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks in SEIU Unions For All Summit on Oct. 4 in Los Angeles. (Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP)

Back in February, when Elizabeth Warren vowed to skip high-dollar private fundraisers, she made it clear her pledge only applied to the Democratic primary.

But now, as the Massachusetts U.S. senator has emerged as a front-runner in that race, she says she wouldn't change her approach to raising money, should she win the Democratic nomination to take on President Trump.

"I'm not gonna go do the big-dollar fundraisers," Warren told CBS News in an interview posted Tuesday. “The whole notion behind this campaign is that we can build this together. And that’s exactly what we’re doing."

In a February email to supporters, Warren had said her decision to eschew such big-money events in the primary would ensure she'd be "outraised by other candidates in this race."

But as the primary has evolved, that hasn't proven the case. In the third quarter of this year, Warren pulled in $24.6 million — second only during the period to Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also has shunned exclusive high-dollar events.

Warren's campaign said last week it had $25.7 million on hand.

The senator confirmed the change in fundraising plans on Twitter Wednesday afternoon: "[W]hen I’m the Democratic nominee for president, I’m not going to change a thing in how I run my campaign: No [political action committee] money. No federal lobbyist money. No special access or call time with wealthy donors or high-dollar fundraisers to underwrite my campaign."

In a statement to CNN's MJ Lee, Kristen Orthman, Warren's communications director, added that as nominee, Warren would "continue to raise money and attend events that are open to the press to make sure the Democratic National Committee, state and local parties, and Democratic candidates everywhere not just to beat Donald Trump but also to win back Congress and state legislatures all across the country."

But, as the Associated Press reported last week, the "Democratic nominee would face a formidable opponent in Trump who, in partnership with the Republican National Committee, raised $125 million during the third quarter."

Have a story idea, question or feedback? Email the politics team: politics@wbur.org.

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Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.

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