Bernie Sanders Criticizes Hillary Clinton Over Clooney Fundraisers

“The issue is what is the future of the Democratic Party?”

April 17, 2016, 10:51 AM

— -- Just two days before the crucial New York primary, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over fundraising, calling into question whether big ticket fundraisers belong in the Democratic Party.

“The issue is, what is the future of the Democratic Party?” Sanders said Sunday on ABC's ‘This Week With George Stephanopoulos.’ “How does raising money and the way you raise money reflect that future?”

Clinton attended two fundraisers co-hosted by George and Amal Clooney over the weekend in California. The price tag for a ticket to dine with her -- $34,000.

Sanders highlighted his campaign's fundraising, which has relied on an average of $27 from individual donors.

“We have done it very differently,” he said, adding he has received seven million individual campaign contributions.

Sanders and Clinton have spent the last week sparring over another money issue in this country: raising the minimum wage. Clinton had previously called for a $12 minimum wage, but now says she would support raising it to $15 incrementally, citing recently passed legislation in New York.

Sanders took issue with the implication that Clinton would wait for states to approve a $15-an-hour wage, rather than advocate for a federal one.

“That is kind of the difference between the way we do politics,” Sanders said. “I’m trying to set a high bar. I’m trying to be a leader.”

Sanders hopes to defy expectations in New York's primary on Tuesday, where the most recent poll by NBC News/Wall Street Journal showed him trailing Clinton by 17 points.

“I hope, by the way, we're going to do better than the polls indicate here,” he said.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events