Biden Discloses List of Top Donors Including 8 Former US Ambassadors

December 28, 2019 Updated: December 29, 2019
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Former Vice President Joe Biden released a list of donors who have raised at least $25,000 for his 2020 presidential campaign, including eight former U.S. ambassadors that served either under the Obama or Clinton administration.

The long list of donors includes former U.S. Ambassadors to Belgium Denise Bauer and Alan Blinken, former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, former U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Anthony Gardner, former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa Mark Gilbert, former U.S. Ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein, former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley, and former Ambassador to Spain and Andorra James Costos.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden has an extensive foreign policy background, having served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for three decades. He also played a key role in the foreign policy on Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine and other conflict areas while vice president under former President Barrack Obama.

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From Left to Right: Mark Gitenstein, former U.S. Ambassador to Romania, Finnegan James Biden, granddaughter of former Vice President Joe Biden, Joe Biden and Libby Gitenstein, wife of Mark Gitenstein arrive at the Henry Coanda International Airport in Bucharest on Oct. 21, 2009. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images)

Of the 259 donors on the list, 57 are from California and 38 are from New York.

The list also includes three U.S. senators and two congressmembers, including Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Massachusetts State Rep. Claire Cronin, and Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), who also co-chairs Biden’s campaign.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is also on the list.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, a Hollywood producer who gave more than $2 million to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and hedge fund manager Eric Mindich are also included among the top donors to Biden’s campaign.

The release comes amid a dispute over big-money donors between two other 2020 Democratic front runners, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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In this Dec. 19, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate in Los Angeles. (Chris Carlson/AP Photo)

During the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles on Dec. 19, Warren criticized Buttigieg for fundraising from rich people.

“The mayor just recently held a fundraiser that was held in a wine cave that was full of crystals and served $900-a-bottle wine. Think about who comes to that. He had promised that every fundraiser he would do would be open door, but this one was closed door,” she said. “We made the decision many years ago that rich people in smoke-filled rooms would not pick the next president of the United States. Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States.”

In response, Buttigieg said that he’s the only candidate on the debate stage that is not a millionaire or a billionaire.

“Senator, your net worth is 100 times mine,” he fired back.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden, Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Buttigieg raised $15.2 million, $24.6 million, $25.3 million, and $19.1 million respectively in the third quarter.