Bernie Sanders Gave Speech to Bank of America-Misleading!
Summary of eRumor:
Despite criticizing Hillary Clinton for giving paid speeches to major banks, Bernie Sanders gave a speech to Bank of America and other corporate powerhouses on February 6.
It’s true that Bernie Sanders gave a speech at a “Politics and Eggs” event cosponsored by Bank of America in February, but most details of this rumor are misleading.
An article that appeared at Daily News Bin reported that Bernie Sanders had spoken at an event hosted by Bank of America, Comcast and AT&T — which are “the same” corporate interests that Hillary Clinton has been criticized for giving paid speeches to.
The claim isn’t factually wrong — but it’s pretty misleading.
First, Politics and Eggs is a nonpartisan even series organized by the New England Council and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library at Saint Anselm College. Politics & Eggs is a “must-stop” for all presidential candidates, and every presidential candidate in the 2016 election cycle participated in the event series, according to event literature:
Taking advantage of New England’s unique position as home to the nation’s first presidential primary in New Hampshire, the Politics & Eggs series was launched in 1996 as a forum for local business leaders to hear from presidential candidates in an intimate setting as they visit the Granite State to campaign and build early support.
Since its inception, the breakfast series has played host to nearly every major party presidential candidate and is today considered a “must-stop” on the presidential campaign trail.” In fact, Politics & Eggs made a cameo appearance in NBC’s hit show “The West Wing,” with candidates autographing the series’ signature wooden eggs.
In recent years, the series has expanded to include issues forums held in the years between presidential election cycles. These events feature nationally known political figures, analysts, and respected journalists.
And it’s true that Bank of America was listed as one of 20 corporate sponsors of the event series, as the rumor claims — but that’s where the rumor starts to jump the rails.
The claim is intended to portray Bernie Sanders as a hypocrite because he’s repeatedly called on Hillary Clinton to release transcripts of paid, private speeches that she gave to investment banks like Bank of America. But, considering that a video of Bernie Sanders entire speech is available online, that claim doesn’t hold up.
Also, Bernie Sanders (and other critics) have argued that Hillary Clinton reportedly receiving millions of dollars from investment banks like Goldman Sachs proves she has a “cozy” relationship with Wall Street. But there’s no indication that candidates who participate in the Politics & Eggs event series are paid in any way, so comparing Hillary Clinton’s paid speaking engagements is misleading.
Finally, Hillary Clinton participated in the Politics & Eggs event series on October 28, so both candidates are on even ground in that respect.