Chris Wallace Grills Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand About $2,700 Per Ticket Fundraiser


FOX News Channel host Chris Wallace grills Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic presidential candidate, for hosting a $2,700 per ticket fundraiser with a top executive for Phizer while saying that "you do need to get money out of politics."

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: One of your Democratic opponents, if you get into the race, Senator Elizabeth Warren, announced today that's she not going to hold any big fundraisers with high ticket prices to get in. She tweeted this. Let's put it up on this screen.

"On our campaign, there'll be event you'll be excluded from because you can't afford it." Now you're - a top executive for Pfizer is holding a big fundraiser for you at the March - tickets $1,000 to $2,700. Is Warren right that access to candidates is for sale?

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: No, but I think you do need to get money out of politics. The most important thing we have to do is upend the way our Democracy functions. Today, the wealthiest, most powerful lobbyists and special interest groups get to write bills in the dead of night. So when we're passing -

WALLACE: OK, but answer my one question directly.

GILLIBRAND: I will - I will, but let me finish - let me - let me finish - let me finish. I got you - I got you. I got your point. I'm going to get to it.


GILLIBRAND: So when you write a bill in Medicare part D, and say, "Medicare, they can't buy in bulk and get the cheapest prices for drugs." That's just a sweetheart deal for the drug companies so that they -

WALLACE: This is a drug executive who's holding this meeting.

GILLIBRAND: And who's a dear friend who I've known for years and years, who believes in my gay rights platform and believes in women's rights and women's equality.

WALLACE: OK, but what about $2,700 tickets?

GILLIBRAND: Let me finish - let me finish. So what's wrong with Washington is there's so much corruption, so much corruption, so much greed. We can't actually pass common sense gun reform in this country, not because the American people aren't behind, because they are, but because the NRA's more worried about gun sales than they are about the wellbeing of our kids. So what's really wrong with Washington is corruption and greed.

WALLACE: Can you answer my question?

GILLIBRAND: Yes, just let me finish.


GILLIBRAND: So for me, that's why I'm banning federal lobbyist money, it's why I'm banning Super PAC money, that's why I'm banning - no, I'm not having an individual Super PAC - and why I'm banning corporate PAC checks. That is a first step to making sure that the (inaudible), the powerful, the elite of the elite don't have unbelievable influence over Washington. When the Koch brothers decide -

WALLACE: Just answer. The $2,700 tickets, are you going to go ahead and have the fundraiser or not?

GILLIBRAND: Of course. I'm going to ask Americans all across this country to support my campaign. But taking away the influence that corporate PAC checks have, the fact that federal lobbyists get to control everything and write bills in the dead of night, the fact -

WALLACE: And you don't see a - you don't see a contradiction there?

GILLIBRAND: I don't, because at the end of the day, people are going to support our campaigns because they believe in us. They believe that I will fight for women's reproduction freedom, that I'll believe they will fight for LGBTQ equality, that it won't demonize people across this country.

This country has always been great because we care about one another, we believe in the golden rule, we believe that you should treat others the way you want to be treated, that we in fact should care about the least among us. And so, what - what we need to do is restore the power of this Democracy to the hands of the people, not the special interest -

WALLACE: May I make a suggestion?

GILLIBRAND: - not the wealthiest -

WALLACE: Will you come back on Fox?

GILLIBRAND: Yes, we have more to talk about.

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