March 7th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
15 years ago

CNNMoney: Big Pharma opens wallet to Dems

NEW YORK ( - Democrats have long served as the traditional enemy of Big Pharma, but in this presidential campaign, the left is taking the lion's share of drugmaker money.

Democratic senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are the top recipients of donations from the pharmaceutical industry, according to The Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit, non-partisan research group in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, donations to Sen. John McCain, who was recently endorsed by President Bush as the official Republican candidate, pale in comparison.

Obama maintains a slight edge over his Democratic rival, with $181,000 in Big Pharma donations through Jan. 31, compared with Clinton's $174,000, according to the center. McCain is far behind with $44,000.

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. clarity

    Wow, I thought that Obama did NOT EVER except money from special interests! What an interesting article!

    Nothing to look at folks. No change here!

    March 7, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Tom Wittmann




    March 7, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Phil, KC, MO

    That is a disturbing bit of information. The Democrats are the ones most people have been counting on to fight the big drug companies and now it turns out they're taking payola. Gee, I wish John Edwards had not dropped out.

    March 7, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Austin, Texas

    So much for Obama denying Lobbyist money?

    Big Pharma with $450billion fronts one of the largest Lobbyist teams in Washington.

    good game Obama.

    March 7, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. Liyah

    oh boy!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Adam, Los Angeles

    now before all you Obama-haters|Clinton-lovers get all crazy, realize the pharmaceutical industry is going to benefit with a universal health care plan. The fact that he has received more money than Clinton just means that they, like the majority of Americans, like Obama better.

    March 7, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    So much for "not under the influence of special interests".

    I suppose they are trying to protect the Medicare Drug Plan benefits–and perhaps glean some more juicy government contracts when the Democrats sell us down the river w/ their "feces universalis" healthcare plan.

    March 7, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Manuel TX


    Shouldn't BO give the $181,000 that he's received from Big Pharma back?

    He keeps telling everyone that he doesn't take money from special interests.

    Words, just words. 🙂

    March 7, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Jen-0-palooza

    I'm a lifelong and multigenerational Republican and I am sending money to Obama. I pray for this country that he wins!

    March 7, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. tcaudilllg

    Given the situation (one of advocating for independence from special interests, especially those who stand to lose from policy changes that stand to benefit the nation as a whole, arguably), I think it would be prudent for all three campaigns to give the money back.

    March 7, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  11. J.V.

    I guess Clinton's not the only democrat in the pocket of the big pharmaceutical companies.

    So much for any new kind of politics on the Democratic side.

    March 7, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    This is without a doubt, the most interesting ticker news to date. Mr. "I don't take money from the drug companies" Obama has accepted more money then Clinton. HUMMMMMMMM Obama supporters call Hillary vile things, while Mr. Clean, ain't so clean after

    March 7, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Mo

    Give it back, Dems! Clinton and Obama should send them their money back.

    March 7, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Brian

    Obama has pledged to fight the insurance industry and has not yielded on that front.

    Clinton wants to mandate health coverage, which means she will force all Americans to buy PRIVATE health insurance, which will basically be the largest mandate by the federal government to put pockets into the private insurance industry, which has donated millions to Clinton over the past decade.

    Meanwhile Obama refuses to allow whatever donations he might have gotten from private individuals to affect his campaign message.

    I'm also curious as to the nature of these donations. Obama has not raised money from any lobbyists or corporations, so these donations to him must have been by private individuals who happen to work in the pharmaceutical industry.

    Hillary is engaging in old-fashioned "pay to play" politics with the health care industry. Obama will never change his message because of donations and he has shown this again and again.

    March 7, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. chris

    woooooww imagine that politics of change huh what no one wants to comment and play cheerleader for their glorious leader when there are hard facts proving that he is only lending you lip service and nothign of true walue man i guess mccains more of a dem then the other two are if we follow thier own standards

    March 7, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Darko - New Orleans, LA

    now there's some.........................change?

    March 7, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. California Independent

    Aaah! Ha! Ha! Ha! Oh, this is just too good. He outraises her with special interest funds!

    It's cloudy outside, but what a beautiful day.

    March 7, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Karen

    I liked the phrase I read on another site.... 'thank you, may I have another.'

    Who told Obama it would be a good idea to go negative? Axelrod needs the axe.

    March 7, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. pa for clinton

    Hey !
    Its time to ask Mr. Obama on his claims of Sen. Clinton taking money from pharmaceutical companies and lobbyst but look at the record he has taken more money than anybody in the race. Time to know and respect the facts. So much of hope & change politics.

    Go Hillary.

    March 7, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Rish

    While I do think this is a setback for campaigns that are "fighting" against special interests, I would like to see a link that backs this up.

    March 7, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Ryan

    I love that fact that OBAMA is mentioned in this probably where most of his 55 million dollars in donations come from in the first place.

    March 7, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. Darth Vadik, CA

    The significant thing is that big business is going to Democrats, they see which way the wind is shifting.

    Also, I wonder how much these donations will influence Obama and Hillary, I have no doubt that Corporations have more influence with Republicans, but some Democrats go astray too.

    ...but these monster donation numbers that Obama and Hillary are bringing in are small donations, so they both know where their bread is.

    March 7, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. Ohio Democrat

    I thought Obama boasts that he doesn't take any money from special interests?

    March 7, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Adam Orlando Florida

    Right.. this looks like the "Same ole, same ole" that Obama was talking about.. in refrence to him being the canidate to "Change" the way washington worked... More lies.

    Hillary Clinton 2008!!

    March 7, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  25. Jane Doe

    I think the story needs to be fixed.... Obama does not accept money from the company themselves but rather from co-workers that work for the pharmaceutical companies.

    March 7, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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