- Elizabeth Warren has sworn off super PACs during the 2020 campaign and her campaign website says she „would disavow any Super PAC formed to support her in the Democratic primary.“
- Persist PAC, a new super PAC supporting her launched this week anyway, with a $1 million ad buy in Nevada before the caucuses.
- On Thursday, Warren would not disavow the new PAC, and said that it wasn’t fair that the men on stage were billionaires or had super PAC support but not the women.
- „It can’t be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only one or two don’t,“ Warren said.
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In a dramatic reversal on one of her signature campaign stances, Senator Elizabeth Warren declined to disavow a new super PAC supporting her, despite her previous insistence that she would discourage any funrdraising from outside groups on her behalf.
Warren was asked while campaigning in Nevada on Thursday about whether she would encourage Persist PAC, a new super PAC created this week to bolster her campaign, to stand down. They have released a pro-Warren ad and purchased a $1 million ad buy to push it to Nevada voters ahead of Saturday’s caucuses.
The candidate’s new stance shows the difficult realities she faces in the current primary landscape as fellow progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders, opened a double-digit lead in national polls and former New York City mayor consumed much of the oxygen in recent weeks by pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into campaign advertising.
„We reached the point a few weeks ago where all the men who were still in this race and on the debate stage all had either super PACs or they were multi-billionaires or could just rummage around in their sock drawers to find tough money to be able to fund a campaign,“Warren told reporters, framing her argument as an issue of gender equality.
„So here’s where I stand,“ Warren said. „If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in, I’ll lead the charge. But that’s how it has to be. It can’t be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only one or two don’t.“
NEW: Here is video of Warren declining to disavow the new super PAC supporting her:
“If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in. I'll lead the charge. But that's how it has to be. It can't be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only 1 or 2 don’t.” pic.twitter.com/byxQRjGMfs
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 20, 2020
Super PACs can raise unlimited funds on behalf of candidates but are not allowed to coordinate with campaigns. Campaign finance reform advocates – including Warren -have criticized super PACs for dramatically increasing the influence of money in politics.
Warren’s own campaign website currently states that „Elizabeth rejects the help of Super PACs and would disavow any Super PAC formed to support her in the Democratic primary. We’ve got to overturn Citizens United because our democracy is not for sale.“
She calls on her fellow Democrats to „show some moral backbone by refusing their own Super PACs in the 2020 primary.“
Warren’s campaign did not respond to an Insider request for comment about her reversal, or whether the campaign website would be updated.
As recently as the February 7 New Hampshire debate, Warren was using her and fellow contender Senator Amy Klobuchar’s lack of super PAC support to set herself apart from the rest of the Democratic field. „Everyone on this stage except Amy and me is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending,“ she said.
Klobuchar also has a new super PAC backing her. The Kitchen Table Conversations Super PAC launched last Friday and has spent $1.1 million to push ads in Nevada and South Carolina, Open Secrets reported. Warren still receives more than half of her funding form contributions of less than $200, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. After a strong showing in Wednsday night’s debate, the Warren campaign announced it had raised $2.8 million the day of the Nevada debate, with $1 million of that raised during the debate itself.
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