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Rendell Calls Warren a ‘Hypocrite’ in WaPo Op-Ed

One day before the third presidential debate in the Democratic primary, former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) fired off an op-ed in the Washington Post accusing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) of being a “hypocrite” over campaign fundraising.

“I like Elizabeth Warren. I like her a lot,” Rendell writes to start off the op-ed. “Too bad she’s a hypocrite.” 

Rendell, who has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s bid for the Democratic nomination, cited his previous support for Warren’s 2018 bid for the Senate, which included co-chairing a “couple of fundraisers” and lauded her “terrific” work setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Despite his support of Warren’s work in the Senate, Rendell believed that Warren was being a hypocrite, not for her pledge to not attend “big money fundraisers,” but because she transferred money from her Senate reelection campaign to her presidential campaign, which previously did include donations from these “big money fundraisers.” 

“The senator appears to be trying to have it both ways — get the political upside from eschewing donations from higher-level donors and running a grass-roots campaign, while at the same time using money obtained from those donors in 2018,” Rendell writes in the op-ed. He specifically cited a New York Times report in the piece that said Warren “transferred $10.4 million from her Senate reelection campaign to her presidential campaign fund. More than $6 million came in contributions of $1,000 and up.”

Rendell also leveled criticism at Warren’s campaign email to supporters criticizing Biden’s first fundraising event, which she described as “a swanky private fund-raiser for wealthy donors.” Rendell said he helped organize Biden’s first fundraiser, hosted by Comcast Executive, David Cohen. 

Rendell has recently ratcheted up his defense of Biden, while various national polls show Warren gaining momentum in the race. Rendell wrote an op-ed for The Hill last week titled, “No one cares about Joe Biden’s gaffes except media and politicos.” Rendell was also quoted in a Politico story published on Monday saying that there are those close to Biden that are worried about his frontrunner status. 

“There’s a clear worry among Biden supporters that he can’t be the front-runner from June of 2019 through July of 2020 … that eventually, the gaffes will pile up and he’ll come down,” Rendell told Politico. He added that many of Biden’s supporters are “nervous as hell” although he says he is “a little less nervous than most” and believes Biden has “staying power” that makes him stronger than his opponents think he is and not as “weak as his supporters think he is.” 

The Thursday night debate is the first time that Biden and Warren will be sharing the debate stage. 

Warren has not addressed Rendell’s op-ed on social media, which has garnered attention among politicos, but he has received pushback from others on Twitter for writing it. 

Rendell sent out a tweet today stating that the Biden campaign did not know about his op-ed and defended his piece by saying that Warren “attacked” him and he was just “defending” himself.

Rendell did add at the end of the op-ed, and reitterated his point in a tweet, that he will support Warren if she is the Democratic nominee. 

“So, despite my feelings, Elizabeth, if you’re reading this and you win the Democratic nomination, I will be happy to support you and will campaign for you with all my heart,” Rendell writes at the end of the op-ed. “And, by the way, Philadelphia has a lot more swanky restaurants that you haven’t seen yet.”

Leading into tonight’s showdown, Biden has consistently been at the top of Pennsylvania Democratic polls, but the most recent Franklin and Marshall College poll from late July to early August shows Biden in first place among PA Democratic primary voters with 28%, while Warren is in second place with 21% of the vote. The only other Democrat reaching double digits in the F&M poll is Sen. Bernie Sanders with 12%. 

The Real Clear Politics average has Biden and Warren both besting Trump in a hypothetical head to head matchup in Pennsylvania with Biden leading Trump by 10.5 points in the state, while Warren leads Trump by 3.5 points in PA. The Real Clear Politics average for Pennsylvania includes two polls, an Emerson College poll from March and a Quinnipiac University poll from May.

7 Responses

  1. I am generally lukewarm at very best to my former Governor Ed Rendell, and I love U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. But she has created for herself a self-imposed vulnerability here, and Ed and I can not be the only ones to have noticed.

    You can’t have it both ways Liz. You either take the bribery, like damned near every candidate for any office in both corrupt corporate major US parties, or you do not. It proves nothing to take it, then stop for a cycle or two, then take it again. That’s not a stance. It’s a vacation.

  2. How many millions of dollars left over from the DNC convention did Rendell keep and give out to his cronies, instead of returning it to the PA taxpayers and/or DNC?

    1. I have to assume you’re the one kidding. Trump is the head of the Republican Party and he actually does everything Republicans falsely accused Obama of doing over the previous two terms.

      Still waiting for the march on Washington over the deficit topping a trillion dollars (in a booming economy too). Oh right, it was never about the deficit in the first place.

      Hypocrisy is the platform.

  3. Ed Rendell is seriously out of touch, Elizabeth Warren puts the fear of god in the type of rich donors that support Ed, which is why she is gaining support nationally.

    1. Dear FormerGOPER…Let’s get real. The only way to really get straight forward in funding campaigns is public financing. You know that! In fact, The US Supreme Court wants us to see a corporation as a person for political campaigns. We read and watch reports of the seemingly sinister term “dark money” now abounding in political campaigns which is nothing more than folks hiding behind screens to say negative things about candidates without being made known who these donors are. Ed Rendell is only stating the obvious which is politics is riddled with hypocritical behavior when it comes to funding campaigns.

      1. Sure, that really didn’t have anything to do with my comment but I don’t disagree. Ed is one of the hypocrites though.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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