A reporter dared to point out that Hillary Clinton is a total hypocrite and allies of the former secretary of state jumped into action as if they are preparing for a 2020 run.
On Sunday, Capital and Main reporter David Sirota tweeted out a screenshot showing that Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, D-TX, is the second highest recipient of campaign money from the oil and gas industry in Congress.
O’Rourke, likely eyeing a 2020 presidential run, was just behind Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, who defeated the Democrat in the Senate race last month.
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) December 2, 2018
Almost immediately after Sirota uploaded the screenshot, he tweeted that he was being attacked for simply sharing a link to campaign finance data.
“It’s unclear why posting a link to campaign finance data – and with no judgment – triggers some folks. The point of transparency is to have an informed debate. If particular donations are good with you, great – defend them! But why get so mad about folks even looking at the data?” he wrote via Twitter.
“Does this mean Beto is evil or more pro-fossil-fuel than the GOP? No. Are individual max donations from top corporate execs worthy of some scrutiny or review, just like they are for GOP politicians? I think so. As a journalist, it’s weird to me that anyone would argue otherwise,” he added in another tweet.
Sirota was raising the issue that the Democratic Party has been pushing for candidates not to accept campaign donations from the oil and gas industry.
When Sirota mentioned that arguably the most popular 2020 Democratic hopeful has been raking in serious money from oil and gas big wigs, it set off two former Clinton campaign officials.
Sirota then tweeted that he was baffled at Clinton allies attacking him for daring to mention O’Rourke in this case, yet they never said anything when Clinton’s campaign attacked then-Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 during the presidential election for taking money from the industry.
I remain baffled by Clinton folk who say that it’s wrong to even mention Beto got a lot of money from donors in the fossil fuel industry, but this ad from Clinton was totally fine and nobody criticized it. https://t.co/9EsCTUKDfB
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) December 4, 2018
Zac Petkanas, the former Director of Rapid Response for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, responded by claiming Sirota has a “sick obsession” with attacking Democrats to help President Donald Trump.
“David Sirota’s sick obsession w/ attacking Democrats helped elect Donald Trump in 2016. Apparently, he’s already decided to help re-elect Trump in 2020. (Also, these are small dollar donations from employees who work in the oil/gas industry. Beto took zero corporate PAC dollars),” Petkanas tweeted.
Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden, who worked for Clinton’s campaign in 2008 and and was one of her biggest cheerleaders in 2016, called Sirota’s tweets “seriously dangerous.”
“Oh look. A supporter of Bernie Sanders attacking a Democrat. This is seriously dangerous. We know Trump is in the White House and attacking Dems is doing Trump’s bidding. I hope Senator Sanders repudiates these attacks in 2019,” she tweeted.
Oh look. A supporter of Bernie Sanders attacking a Democrat. This is seriously dangerous. We know Trump is in the White House and attacking Dems is doing Trump’s bidding. I hope Senator Sanders repudiates these attacks in 2019. https://t.co/41A4uxtWGY
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 4, 2018
Sirota did nothing but link to campaign finance data and noted that it was interesting to see O’Rourke as the second highest recipient of campaign cash from the exact industry that the Democratic Party is portraying as the boogeyman.
This was enough to trigger two former top Clinton allies, which raises questions about whether this is an early sign that Clinton could be gearing up for a third run at the presidency.