Briahna Joy Gray: Progressives can be successful candidates on 'small-dollar donations'

Briahna Joy Gray, former national press secretary for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Biden: We will fix nation's problems Left doubles down on aggressive strategy MORE's (I-Vt.) 2020 presidential campaign, said Wednesday that progressives can still be mainstream candidates while relying on transparent public funding without accepting money from large political groups.

"I think what we really have to do is punch the mythology that everyone has to compromise their values in order to compete financially because I think a lot of politicians — people let politicians off the hook because they just believe that that's the case," Gray said in an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising.”

She cited the 2020 Sanders campaign as an example of how public funding can successfully be done. Sanders relied on small-dollar donors and raised approximately $46 million from about 2.2 million donations in February of last year alone.

Sanders notably out-fundraised his competitors, Gray added. 

Now-President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE, however, went on to secure the Democratic nomination.

"If he [Sanders] had won the primary, it would've given him the boost to continue that fundraising into the general [election] as opposed to most other candidates who tend to max that with big donors then struggle to continue to continue to earn money down the final stretch," Gray said. "We have seen proof positive that this works."