Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who vowed when she announced her White House bid last year not to take “a dime of PAC money in this campaign,” refused Thursday to disavow a super PAC raising money to support her candidacy.
“Do you want the super PAC supporting you to stand down?” a reporter asked Warren outside of a campaign stop in Nevada. The super PAC in question, Persist PAC, formed this week to support the Massachusetts Democrat.
“So look,” Warren replied, “the first day I got in this race over a year ago, I said I hope every presidential candidate that comes in will agree, no super PACs for any of us.”
“I’ve renewed that call dozens of times, and I couldn’t get a single Democrat to go along with it.”
Warren defended her about-face on super PAC money in terms of gender, telling reporters that she and fellow Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar were the only Democrats who did not have super PACs supporting their candidacies.
“We reached a point a few weeks ago where all of the men who were still in this race and on the debate stage all had either super PACs or they were multi-billionaires and they could just rummage in their sock drawers and find enough money to be able to fund a campaign,” Warren said.
“And the only people that didn’t have them were the two women.”
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
Warren has run largely on opposing support from lobbyists, billionaires, and super PACs, which can receive unlimited donations from individual donors as long as they do not coordinate directly with a candidate’s campaign.
“I’ve already said that I will run my campaign differently — no Washington lobbyist money, no PAC money, no auditioning billionaires to run a super PAC for me, and no dark-money groups devoted to supporting this campaign,” Warren wrote in a post on Medium on Feb. 25, 2019.
“I’m not taking a dime of PAC money in this campaign,” Warren vowed during her campaign announcement on Feb. 9, 2019.
“I’m not taking a single check from a federal lobbyist. I’m not taking applications from billionaires who want to run a Super PAC on my behalf. And I challenge every other candidate who asks for your vote in this primary to say exactly the same thing.”
Elizabeth Warren: “I’m not taking a dime of PAC money in this campaign. I’m not taking a single check from a federal lobbyist. I’m not taking applications from billionaires who want to run a Super PAC on my behalf.” Via CBS pic.twitter.com/QBchCOyAbz
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 9, 2019
But Warren’s idealism has seemingly been tested by lackluster campaign fundraising, and disappointing showings at the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, where she finished third and fourth, respectively.
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