Elizabeth Warren to Forgo Receptions and Fund-Raisers With Big Donors

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Monday escalated her presidential campaign’s battle against big money in politics, announcing that her bid for the Democratic nomination will forgo traditional fund-raising methods meant to cultivate a candidate’s relationships with the wealthy.

The Massachusetts senator said she would no longer hold the private fund-raisers and one-on-one meetings with big donors that have become typical for Democrats and Republicans.

“That means no fancy receptions or big money fund-raisers only with people who can write the big checks,” Ms. Warren said in a morning email to supporters. “It means that wealthy donors won’t be able to purchase better seats or one-on-one time with me at our events. And it means I won’t be doing ‘call time,’ which is when candidates take hours to call wealthy donors to ask for their support.”

Ms. Warren made the announcement as the Democratic primary to oppose President Trump’s re-election bid begins to take shape, and candidates in the crowded field are trying to find ways to distinguish themselves. Ms. Warren, who rose to prominence as a harsh critic of big corporations and unrestrained capitalism, has attempted to push the field in that direction, announcing expansive, liberal ideas on money and wealth more than a year before the first votes are cast.

They include a recently announced plan for universal child care and a tax on the wealthiest Americans.

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Since Ms. Warren was unlikely to receive the majority of support from big donors, the announcement’s most important function could be its political impact. In a crowded field where the slightest factor could influence a voter’s decision, Ms. Warren is seeking to separate herself from other Democrats in the race, including Senator Kamala Harris of California and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who have both benefited from high-priced fund-raising events and could now be under more pressure to disavow them.

“The wealthy and well-connected have been taught by politicians to expect that more money buys more access — they’ve done it for generations,” Ms. Warren said in her email, “and it too often closes out women and communities of color. We have to do things differently.”

[Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking: Were tracking the Democratic candidates.]

The announcement comes as Ms. Warren experiences fund-raising struggles of her own. Last week, as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont — an ardent progressive like Ms. Warren — boasted a historic fund-raising haul in the first 24 hours after his announcement, Ms. Warren sent multiple emails to her supporters warning them of lagging totals.

In the email, which had the subject line “We’re falling short,” Ms. Warren seemed to acknowledge that her campaign would never match the money raised by those of her rivals.

“We will be outraised. We will be outspent,” she said. “We just can’t let ourselves be drowned out.”