Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is ratcheting up his rhetoric against Hillary Clinton as he attempts to stake out space to her left in the 2016 presidential race.
In a Time magazine profile detailing his own 2016 ambitions Thursday, Schweitzer hit Clinton for her 2003 vote for the Iraq War and for taking money from Wall Street. During an interview that same night on MSNBC, Schweitzer reiterated his attacks and directly suggested Clinton is “beholden” to special interests.
“Well, unfortunately we’ve come to a place in politics that you win elections by raising more money than the other person,” Schweitzer said on “The Ed Show” when asked about his comments in the Time article. “Whether they’re Democrats or they’re Republicans, you rush to where the money is. You go to the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance companies, the big banks. You go to Wall Street. They’re the ones who can write the fat checks.”
Schweitzer went on to claim these campaign contributions have led to “a Democratic Party that is corporate-lite.”
“Here’s the problem: If they have been writing you the fat checks, you’re beholden to ’em. So what we need is a Democratic Party that stands up for workin’ people — who says, ‘We need to have a strong middle class again.’ We can’t have a Democratic Party that is corporate-lite. And that’s the risk that we’re faced with right now,” he continued.
Schweitzer is widely considered a long-shot against Clinton, who has already amassed the support of much of the national Democratic establishment for her still-unannounced bid. However, Schweitzer, who insists he would be a viable candidate, is hoping his populist message can compete against the Democratic front-runner.
“We already have a Congress full of people who have been bought by corporate America. We need chief executives that will stand up to corporate America and say, ‘I’m putting America first, not your profits,'” Schweitzer said on MSNBC.
For her part, Clinton’s team seems uninterested in taking shots back at Schweitzer. When the Wall Street Journal asked her spokesman to respond to Schweitzer’s criticisms in May, a Hillary rep simply said, “She’s proud to have spent a lifetime fighting for equality and opportunity for all people, from jobs and education to health care and voting, and will continue to do so.”
Watch Schweitzer’s “Ed Show” segment below.
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