Former Vice President Joe Biden suggested he might reconsider a fundraiser scheduled for Thursday after being confronted and told about its host's connections to the energy industry.
Andrew Goldman is a co-founder of Western LNG, a company whose biggest project is a floating liquefaction facility for natural gas off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. He does not have day-to-day responsibilities with the company, but an audience member asked Biden if his willingness to accept Goldman’s help would compromise his pledge to fight climate change.
Goldman also worked a Biden adviser before the former vice president took that office in 2009.
"I didn't realize he does that," Biden said after being asked initially about Goldman’s role and said, citing SEC filings, that he did not believe attending the fundraiser would be in violation of a pledge to refuse fossil fuel energy executive donations. "I'm going to look at what you just told me and find out if that's accurate."
Immediately after the exchange, Biden spokeswoman Symone Sanders disputed the description of Goldman, claiming he "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."
She also echoed Biden, in a subsequent tweet, denying that the former vice president has not violated his pledge to reject donations from fossil fuel executives.
“What I was told by my staff is that he did not have any responsibility related to the company,” Biden said later. “He was not on the board, he was not involved at all in the operation of the company at all.
But he said his campaign would review its information to be sure.
“If that turns out to be true, then I will not in any way accept his help,” Biden said. “We go through every contribution make sure that we are not accepting money from people we said we wouldn't, or we shouldn’t.”