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.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Cleaner Air Is Coming' as London Expands Vehicle Pollution Fee to Entire Metro Area

"Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year because of long-term exposure to air pollution, with the greatest number of deaths in outer London boroughs," noted Mayor Sadiq Khan in announcing the expansion.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Amazing News': Historic Shark Protections Approved at Global Wildlife Convention

Up to 90% of sharks targeted by the lucrative fin trade will now be protected, said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'The Nightmare Materializes': Far-Right Extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir to Be Israel's National Security Minister

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Palestinian Authority said Ben-Gvir's elevation to national security minister could have a "catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

Jake Johnson ·


Raging Wars, Soaring Hunger Put Women and Girls in Crosshairs, Warns UN

"A toxic mix of crises—conflicts, climate, skyrocketing costs, and the ripple effects of the Ukraine war—are inflicting a devastating toll on the forcibly displaced. This is being felt across the world, but women and girls are particularly suffering."

Brett Wilkins ·


Greta Thunberg Joins 630+ Young People in Landmark Climate Lawsuit Against Sweden

"The Swedish state fails to meet the constitutional requirement to promote sustainable development leading to a good environment for present and future generations," said the plaintiffs.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo