Joe Biden confronted at CNN town hall with question on his fundraiser's fossil fuel ties

Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden may need to rethink his fundraising strategy after one audience member called him out during CNN’s town hall on the climate crisis Wednesday. Hours before the town hall, The Intercept revealed that Biden would be attending a fundraiser co-hosted by fossil fuel CEO, Andrew Goldman, despite the former vice president’s pledge not to take fossil fuel money.

The audience member asked Biden, “How can we trust you to hold the corporations and executives accountable for their crimes against humanity when we know that tomorrow you are holding a high-dollar fundraiser hosted by Andrew Goldman, a fossil fuel executive?”

Biden denied that Goldman was a fossil fuel executive and avoided the fundraiser topic, but did defend his climate change record and ability to take on fossil fuel executives.

Anderson Cooper jumped in to provide some context to the audience member’s question. Cooper listed off examples of fossil fuel companies, like Exxon Mobil, spreading misinformation about climate change over the past 40 years, then asked Biden if he would hold those executives accountable should he be elected president. “Yes, just like we did with the tobacco industry that lied to the public,” responded Biden.

Cooper then pressed Biden about the upcoming fundraiser, and its co-host, Goldman. Cooper explained that, in addition to being a hedge fund manager, Goldman was also co-founder of a natural gas company called Western LNG, who’s largest project is a floating natural gas producing vessel off the coast of British Columbia. “If you're going to a fundraiser that’s given, in part, by this guy that has a company that is pulling up natural gas, are you the right guy to go after these people?” asked Cooper.

“I didn't realize he does that,” Biden said in response, explaining that Goldman wasn’t on any of the SCC filing lists and that he stood by his no fossil fuel money pledge. Cooper then asked Biden if he was going to reevaluate the upcoming fundraiser. “I'll look at what you told me and find out if that's accurate, yes,” Biden responded.

Meanwhile on Twitter, Biden’s senior advisor Symone Sanders immediately disputed the accuracy of Anderson’s claims, denying that Goldman is a fossil fuel executive.

But regardless of where the truth nets out with Biden’s fundraiser, Biden wanted everyone to know he’s not trying to hide anything. “Every one of my fundraisers is open to the press. There is nothing done behind closed doors. Every single fundraiser I've had,” he assured.

Go to to see more from the town halls.

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