It turns out that 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren wasn’t joking about swearing off large donations from rich people. In fact, she’s so committed to it that her decision to reject big donors has apparently led to the resignation of her finance director, Michael Pratt, according to CNN.
An aide for Warren told CNN on Sunday that Pratt is “still a consultant [for the campaign] but winding things down and transitioning out since we made the decision not to have [Warren] do high dollar events.”
For most candidates, leaving big donations behind seems both impossible and foolish. But Warren’s team says forgoing fundraising has allowed the candidate to focus more on spending time in the field with voters.
According to the New York Times, Pratt resigned after a meeting with Warren in mid-February that “grew heated.” Pratt apparently told Warren that “campaigns often collapse when they run out of money and pleaded with her not to cut off a significant cash stream.”
None of those present at the meeting responded to CNN’s request for comment about the meeting.
The news broke on Sunday, which was the deadline for the end of the first quarter of campaign fundraising. Soon, we should learn more about how much money each candidate has raised. There is already some speculation that Warren’s campaign is lagging in that department.
Warren’s team has tried to focus on the enthusiasm of her base. But she hasn’t been polling particularly well, and in such a crowded field, in which several candidates have strong followings, that could be a problem.
“If Warren says, ‘I can’t raise enough money, so my way to win is through an aggressive field operation because I have fired-up volunteers,’ well, Bernie and Beto can say, ‘O.K., well, we can do both,’” Rufus Gifford, the finance director for Obama’s reelection campaign, told the Times.
Warren does have some wiggle room—she has transferred $10 million from her Senate campaign account to fund her presidential campaign for the time being. Her focus on policy may grow in popularity as other candidates face setbacks and questions about their records.
In a recent interview with CNN, Warren turned her potentially weak fundraising numbers into a metaphor about American inequality.
“You know, in life, there are some people who have more money, there are some people who have less money,” she said. “But everybody should have an equal share of our democracy.”