Biden, at Climate Town Hall, Says He’ll Rethink Fundraiser by Fossil Fuel Industry Executive

Democratic candidate and former vice president seemed taken aback in front of studio audience

Image Credit: Screenshot, CNN

Ooh — not a good moment at all for former Vice President Joe Biden.

On stage on Wednesday night at the CNN town hall about climate change issues, the 2020 Democratic candidate said he would reconsider attending a high-dollar fundraiser hosted by a businessman in the fossil fuel industry after he was challenged about the event itself.

An audience member on Wednesday evening asked Biden about a fundraising event for his campaign, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.

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Andrew Goldman, a co-founder of the Houston-based natural gas producer Western LNG, has organized the event, according to reports.

Biden at first said he “didn’t realize” Goldman was even involved in the fossil fuel industry.

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But when CNN host Anderson Cooper pressed him on the matter, Biden said he would rethink his attendance at the Thursday event “if true.”

“I think it’s pretty true,” Cooper said quickly.

The Biden campaign, however, almost immediately tweeted about the claim on Wednesday night — pushing back against Cooper’s comments.

“What @andersoncooper just said about VP Biden’s fundraiser is factually incorrect,” wrote senior adviser Symone Sanders on Twitter.

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“Andrew Goldman isn’t a fossil fuel executive. He’s not involved in the day-to-day operation. He’s not on the board of the company, nor the board of the portfolio company.”

But here’s how The Intercept — ahead of the town hall’s start — described the fundraiser Biden is planning to attend on Thursday, to name just one source: “Andrew Goldman, a co-founder of Western LNG, a natural gas production company based in Houston, Texas, is co-hosting one of two high-dollar fundraisers Biden will attend in New York on Thursday. Western’s major project is a floating production facility off the northern coast of British Columbia designed to provide Canadian gas to markets in northeast Asia.”

“Goldman and Biden have deep ties: Goldman served as an adviser to Biden while he was in the Senate and was the northeast director of finance for Biden’s 2008 campaign. He’s also an executive at the investment banking firm Hildred Capital Partners. He and his partner at the firm, David Solomon, along with their wives Renee and Sarah, will host a private fundraiser for Biden at the Solomon house, CNBC reported. Goldman also co-founded De Cordova Goldman Capital Management, which invested in ‘natural resources and energy.'”

Also notable from Biden on Wednesday night: As Steve Guest of the Republican National Committee pointed out in an email, “Coming off his pledge to eliminate all fossil fuels if elected president, Biden also said that he wants to ‘shut down’ all of the coal power plants. Clearly there is no ‘middle ground’ on the climate in the Democrat Party.”

And not to go unmentioned is Biden’s bloodshot eye on Wednesday night: His left eye, as he interacted with the audience, seemed to fill with blood on stage as people looked on.

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This article has been updated.

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Maureen Mackey served as editor-in-chief and managing editor of LifeZette for nearly five years. Before that, she held senior editorial positions at major publications, helping The Fiscal Times win a MIN Award for Best New Site as managing editor and Reader's Digest win an American Society of Magazine Editors Award for General Excellence as book editor. Her work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, CNBC, A Fine Line, AARP Magazine, Yahoo Finance, MSN, Business Insider, and The Week, among other outlets. She is a member of the Newswomen's Club of New York and the American Legion Auxiliary.

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