As both Democrat candidates like to portray themselves as an enemy of the financial industry, Bernie Sanders appears to have more leverage (to borrow a finance term). He’s blasted Hillary Clinton for taking over $600,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in early debates, and has continued his criticism into the Democrat town hall debates.
We don’t know exactly what was said in those speeches because Hillary refuses to release the transcripts, but the attendees at those speeches haven’t forgotten. They’re speaking out, and it doesn’t bode well for Hillary.
As reported by The Daily Caller:
“It was pretty glowing about us,” one attendee at an Oct. 2013 Goldman Sachs event in Arizona told Politico about Clinton’s speech, which earned the former secretary of state $225,000. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”
“It would bury her against Sanders,” the attendee told Politico, referring to Clinton’s challenger, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. “It really makes her look like an ally of the firm.”A speech she gave in New York in 2013 was “mostly basic stuff, small talk, chit chat,” the attendee told Politico. “But in this environment, it could be made to look really bad,” the source added.
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s campaign communications director, dismissed the sources’ claims, telling Politico that they were “pure trolling.”
But the sources’ recollections of the Clinton speeches are in line with another Politico report from Dec. 2013. Back then, the outlet reported that during a Goldman Sachs speech in Manhattan “Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish.”
“Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we’re all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn’t going to improve the economy—it needs to stop.”
Pressure for Clinton to release transcripts of her speeches began in earnest last month when The Intercept’s Lee Fang asked her at a campaign event if she would release the documents. She laughed at the question.
Hillary has been reluctant to release the transcripts of her speeches – something she can do at any time. She tried to dodge concerns over her speeches by saying that she would “look into” releasing the transcripts at the past Democrat town hall. Days later she did a 180, and attacked other candidates for not releasing transcripts of speeches they gave.
It’s been said if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear – and clearly Hillary has a lot to fear.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]