by Jonathan Singer, Tue Aug 07, 2007 at 09:22:12 AM EDT
On Saturday afternoon, August 4, I had the opportunity to sit down once again to speak with Chris Dodd about issues related to his campaign for the presidency. (You can listen to my earlier interview with Dodd here.)
During our few minute long conversation, Dodd and I spoke mostly about the campaign, campaign finance and the Yearly Kos debate earlier in the day. Dodd makes some pretty direct hits on some of his fellow candidates. You can read the transcript below or also listen to it through the player below.
Jonathan Singer: Talking about today, it looked like you were having a good time up there.
Chris Dodd: Yeah.
Singer: You got to take a little umbrage, though, also. Chris Dodd - not a latecomer to publicly financed elections. What was your reaction (to Barack Obama approving of your support for public financing, and Obama and John Edwards not accepting donations from lobbyists)?
Dodd: I found the argument almost insulting to the audience. I'm not a Washington lobbyist? Please. So you're getting money from trial lawyers, and you're getting money from Chicago, Los Angeles... People, this "Washington lobbyists" is a nice bumper sticker, but don't insult the intelligence of people out here. Tell me how you're voting and what you're doing. The fact that you took a contribution from someone is interesting. Or maybe not interesting. But when you vote for the Bankruptcy Act, you may not have taken a contribution from a banker, but the fact is you voted wrong on something that's critical and setting back an awful lot of people in this country.
As someone who has been an advocate for a long time of public financing, people sort of competing with each other as to how many lobbyist checks they won't receive in all of this misses the point, it seems to me, in many ways. And, again, it's to some degree because saying "Washington lobbyist", as if a lobbyist from every other place around the country is okay and they're the only ones who are wrong is trite and superficial.