Sanders hits Clinton for taking pharmaceutical money
© Getty Images

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWTO faces renewed scrutiny amid omicron threat Overnight Health Care — Presented by March of Dimes — Abortion access for 65M women at stake Hospitals in underserved communities face huge cuts in reckless 'Build Back Better' plan MORE (I-Vt.) has criticized Democratic presidential rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublican Ohio Senate candidate slams JD Vance over previous Trump comments Budowsky: Why GOP donors flock to Manchin and Sinema Countering the ongoing Republican delusion MORE for taking millions from pharmaceutical companies in a new fundraising email that frames her as beholden to the industry.  

"I don't go around asking millionaires and billionaires for money. You know that. I don't think I'm going to get a whole lot of contributions from the health care and pharmaceutical industries," he wrote in the note from Wednesday.
 
Sanders went on to remind supporters that he turned down a donation from Martin Shkreli, the CEO who raised prices on AIDS medications and is now charged with financial crimes. Both Sanders and Clinton repudiated Shkreli when that decision went public. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Then Sanders shifted toward a critique on Clinton.
 
"Secretary Clinton, on the other hand, has received millions of dollars from the health care and pharmaceutical industries, a number that is sure to rise as time goes on," he wrote, arguing that Clinton has raised more money from the healthcare industry than the top three Republican candidates combined. 
 
"Now, and let's not be naive about this, maybe they are dumb and don't know what they are going to get? But I don't think that's the case, and I don't believe you do either."
 
Clinton has raised about $1.1 million from the pharmaceuticals or health products industries this cycle, according to data from Open Secrets. That's the 14th highest total from any industry or group that has given to Clinton, according to Open Secrets. The group giving the most money to Clinton — $7.66 million — is retirees.
 
By comparison, the pharmaceuticals industry isn't in Sanders's top 20 industries, according to Open Secrets
 
Christina Reynolds, a Clinton spokeswoman, told The New York Times that Clinton, who pushed universal healthcare during her husband's administration, “takes a back seat to no one when it comes to fighting to expand quality, affordable health care coverage for all Americans." 
 
"She has spent her entire career standing up to the insurance industry and drug companies — and she has the scars to prove it," Reynolds added to the newspaper.