Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Trump is 'a pathological liar' Pressure grows on Perez to enter DNC race Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk MORE's campaign links rival Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonFeinstein after dinner with Clinton: She has 'accepted' her loss Sanders: Trump is 'a pathological liar' Clintons remember John Glenn as a 'uniquely American hero' MORE to the 2008 financial meltdown in a new ad targeting her speaking fees from Wall Street banks.
The ad, first reported by the New York Times, does not mention Clinton by name, but its target is clear.
It opens by blaming investment bank Goldman Sachs — a generous supporter of Clinton — for triggering the financial crisis and putting millions of people out of work and out of their homes. The voiceover then asks, "How does Wall Street get away with it?"
"Millions in campaign contributions and speaking fees. … Our economy works for Wall Street because it's rigged for Wall Street. And that's the problem. As long as Washington is bought and paid for, we can't build an economy that works for people," the voiceover declares.
“I do not intend to run a negative political ad,” Mr. Sanders reportedly said at a breakfast Thursday morning hosted by Bloomberg Politics.
“Do I plan on running more contrast ads?” Sanders added. “I don’t think we do, but that’s something we are still talking about.”
Asked whether the ad breaks Sanders's promise about negative advertising, campaign spokesman Michael Briggs told The Hill via email: "The ad doesn't mention anyone by name. It talks about an issue that impacts candidates from both parties."
Sanders has been increasingly contrasting himself with Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner, on the basis of campaign contributions and his fiercer opposition to Wall Street.
Clinton has taken millions in speaking fees and campaign contributions from Wall Street banks over her career as a New York senator, her 2008 presidential campaign and the current race.
Sanders frequently points out that he, unlike Clinton, does not have a super-PAC and will be truly tough on Wall Street because he does not court their support.
The Vermont Independent, who is now seen as a good chance to beat Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire, can also accurately claim that he is raising a larger proportion of his campaign money from small-dollar donors than Clinton, who relies more heavily on maximum $2,700 contributions at cocktail parties and events held at wealthy supporters' homes across the country. Sanders avoids such events and raises the bulk of his money online.
Sanders argues one of the key distinctions between himself and Clinton on Wall Street reform is that he wants to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, which "separated risky trading and investment from traditional banking activities like business lending and consumer finance."
The Glass-Steagall distinction is an especially charged one for the Democratic base, as it was President Bill Clinton who signed the law's repeal in 1999.
Clinton's retort is that she will take a more sophisticated approach to regulating Wall Street than Sanders, who she says has unrealistic ideas. It's a similar argument to the one she made against then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
“The American people can’t afford to wait for ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world,” Clinton says in a recent ad. “We can make real progress right now.”