Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Hillary Clinton's speaking fees—which have netted the former secretary of state millions in recent years—have come under scrutiny during the campaign, with Bernie Sanders and others suggesting they show she is too closely aligned with big banks. (Photo: MSNBC)

Calling Clinton's Bluff, Sanders Reveals What His Paid Speeches Look Like

Has Bernie Sanders thrown down the gauntlet after Hillary Clinton's challenge at Thursday's Democratic town hall?

Deirdre Fulton

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton said during a town hall on Thursday evening she will release transcripts of paid, closed-door speeches she gave to Wall Street firms "when everyone else does."

That may be sooner than she thinks.

On Friday morning, rival Bernie Sanders appeared to throw down the gauntlet by posting a video of one of the speeches he was paid to give in 2011—and how much he was paid for it.

Clinton's speaking fees—which have netted the former secretary of state millions in recent years—have come under scrutiny during the campaign, with Sanders and others suggesting they show she is too closely aligned with big banks.

Politico reported earlier this month that when she addressed Goldman Sachs executives and technology titans at a summit in Arizona in October of 2013, "she spoke glowingly of the work the bank was doing raising capital and helping create jobs, according to people who saw her remarks."

The issue seems to have resonated with voters, like the man who asked Clinton about the speaking fees at Thursday's MSNBC-moderated Democratic presidential town hall in Las Vegas.

"As a realtor here in Nevada I know how important the economy is to our great nation," he said. "As a Democratic candidate who has delivered speeches to the largest U.S. financial institutions in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in speaking fees, why are you hesitant to release transcript or audio/video recordings of those meetings to be transparent with the American people regarding the promises and assurances that you have made to the big banks?"

"Let me say this," Clinton responded, "I am happy to release anything I have when everybody else does the same because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Senator Sanders."

The New York Times reported in May 2015 that in the year prior, Sanders had collected $1,867.42 for three appearances, "a grand sum that is chump change in presidential politicking but enough for the senator to respectably donate the money to charity."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

AOC Slams Conservative Dems Who Would Rather Skip Town Than Vote to Extend Eviction Ban

"We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have the majority."

Jake Johnson ·


'A Devastating Failure': Eviction Ban Expires as House Goes on Vacation and Biden Refuses to Act

"We’re now in an eviction emergency," said Rep. Cori Bush. "Eleven million are now at risk of losing their homes at any moment. The House needs to reconvene and put an end to this crisis."

Jake Johnson ·


With Election Days Away, Bernie Sanders Headlines Get-Out-the-Vote Rally for Nina Turner

In his keynote speech, Sanders said corporate interests are pulling out all the stops to defeat Turner because "they know that when she is elected, she is going to stand up and take them on in the fight for justice."

Jake Johnson ·


Bush, Pressley, and Omar Sleep Outside Capitol to Demand Extension of Eviction Moratorium

Rep. Cori Bush, who was formerly unhoused, slammed her Democratic colleagues who "chose to go on vacation early today rather than staying to vote to keep people in their homes."

Jake Johnson ·


As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·