Joe Biden Launches Presidential Bid With Fundraiser Filled With Corporate Lobbyists and GOP Donors
Biden, who announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday morning, has depicted himself as the party’s standard bearer. But he’s planning to roll out his campaign at an event filled with others like Cohen, namely GOP donors and corporate lobbyists.
Like other Democratic candidates, Biden is launching his presidential bid with a pledge to reject federal lobbyist cash. But the lobbyists attending his Thursday fundraiser are either unregistered or registered with state entities, not the federal system. As The Intercept previously reported, Democratic contenders Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker have all leveraged the same loophole to collect cash from corporate interests while pledging to eschew funding from federal lobbyists.
Biden has long since been close to lobbyists. Biden’s presidential campaign is currently being coordinated by his former chief of staff, Steve Ricchetti, who was himself a lobbyist. In the past, Ricchetti’s role with Biden’s vice presidential office sidestepped the Obama administration’s ban on employing lobbyists: Ricchetti received a special waiver to take his role with Biden.