Remember all the love Bernie Sanders showed Wall Street during his campaign? Namely none? Well despite that, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) seems to think that Wall Street was backing Sanders in the 2016 presidential primaries against Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Whitehouse made his assertions on MSNBC’s Morning Joe early Tuesday, much to the disbelief of the show’s host, Joe Scarborough. Scarborough responded by pointing out what a close relationship Secretary Clinton had with Wall Street.
Senator Whitehouse said that while Clinton may have had closer ties to Wall Street than the other Democrats, bankers and investors would have fared better under a Republican president than Hillary Clinton. Therefore, he claims, Wall Street put money behind Sanders, believing him to be the weaker candidate and the one more likely to lose against the Republican nominee.
His only specific claim was that Wall Street spent money in New Hampshire for Sanders. A search for evidence of this provided only Secretary Clinton’s claim that Bernie Sanders had taken $200,000 from Wall Street through the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC). FactCheck.org’s investigation of this claim found that while Sanders had received $200,000 from the DSCC, only a small portion of that had come from Wall Street.
Also contrary to his claim are the actual facts. Goldman Sachs' CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Sanders’ anti-Wall Street rhetoric was potentially dangerous. On the other hand, Clinton raised more money from the securities and investment industry than any candidate in either party during the primary season.
While Whitehouse’s statements seem unfounded, some have speculated that his goal was to foster the narrative that Republicans are closely tied to Wall Street and Democrats are on the side of everyone else. However, both parties have longstanding ties to Wall Street, a fact that no morning interview is going to easily overshadow.