Hillary Clinton, currently defending herself from environmental critics for accepting money from employees at oil and gas companies, hit then-Sen. Barack Obama for doing the same thing in 2008.
Clinton lost her temper at an event on Thursday when activists from Greenpeace and 350 Action, two environmental organization, asked her to “reject fossil fuel money” and not accept donations from the gas and oil industry. “I’m so sick of the Sanders’ campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it,” Clinton said.
In response to the confrontation, Nick Merrill, Clinton’s spokesman, said the candidate “has not taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or corporations.” Clinton’s campaign, in fact, has not received any money directly from oil and gas companies, as that would violate election law.
But during her 2008 presidential campaign against Obama, Clinton ran a 30-second ad hitting the then senator for the same thing.
“You’ve seen the ad,” says a narrator before cutting to a separate ad of Obama saying, “I don’t take one from oil companies.”
“No candidate does. It has been against the law for 100 years,” says the narrator. “But Barack Obama accepted $200,000 from executives and employees of oil companies. Every gallon of gas takes over three bucks from your pocket. But Obama voted for the Bush-Cheney energy bill that puts $6 billion in the pocket of big oil.”
The narrator adds, “Hillary voted against it. She will make oil companies pay to crate the new jobs in clean energy America needs.”
Clinton concludes the ad by saying, “I’m Hillary Clinton and I approve this message.”
The ad ran during Pennsylvania’s primary, a state Clinton won by nearly 10 percentage points.
Clinton’s ad was a response to Obama’s own ad that said, “I’m Barack Obama. I don’t take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists and I won’t let them block change anymore.”
Both Clinton and Obama accepted money from executives and employees of oil companies during the 2008 campaign, according to Center for Responsive Politics. Obama accepted $222,309 and Clinton accepted $309,363, according to the watchdog.
Clinton’s 2016 campaign has taken more than $300,000 from people who work for those companies, according to Greenpeace. Clinton’s campaign noted on Thursday that Sanders has taken upwards of $50,000 from the same individuals.
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s press secretary, responded to the 2008 ad by noting that Sanders, too, has taken money from employees at oil and gas companies.
“Then, as now, both Democratic candidates in the race accepted donations from employees of oil and gas companies,” Fallon said. “We have not accused Senator Sanders of being beholden to the oil and gas industry on that basis, nor should he say that of Hillary Clinton.”