Warren declines to disavow super PAC that supports her

Warren declines to disavow super PAC that supports her
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) declined Thursday to disavow a new super PAC that was formed this week to help support her presidential bid.

Warren told reporters on the trail that while she had repeatedly called for all 2020 Democrats to shun support from such outside groups, telling the group designed to support her to stand down would put her at a disadvantage.

“The first day I got in this race over a year ago, I said I hope every presidential candidate who comes in will agree no super PACs for any of us. I renewed that call dozens of times, and I couldn’t get a single Democrat to go along with me,” she said.

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“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.”

The remarks come a day after the formation of Persist PAC, a pro-Warren super PAC that is now unleashing a $1 million ad campaign in Nevada ahead of the state’s caucuses Saturday.

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Warren had repeatedly declined support from high-dollar donors throughout her campaign, saying wealthy donors already hold too much sway in the country’s politics. However, she is unable to control the work of outside groups such as super PACs, which are prohibited by law from directly coordinating with political campaigns. 

Warren has made support from such groups an attack line on the campaign trail, calling out her primary opponents earlier this month for receiving help from outside groups.

“Everyone on this stage except Amy and me is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending,” Warren said earlier this month at the New Hampshire debate, referring to Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging MORE (D-Minn.). “If you really want to live where you say, then put your money where your mouth is and say no to the PACs.”

Warren suggested Thursday that her and Klobuchar’s refusal to accept super PAC support put them at a disadvantage in a primary field otherwise filled with men who had the backing of such groups or had personal fortunes of billions of dollars to use for self-funding their campaigns. Klobuchar has also garnered the support of a super PAC dubbed Kitchen Table Conversations.

“Finally we reached the point a few weeks ago where all the men who are still in this race and on the debate stage all had super PACs, or they were multibillionaires and could just rummage around in their sock drawers to find enough money to fund their campaign,” said Warren. “And the only people who didn’t have them were the two women. And at that point there were some women around the country who said, ‘you know, that’s just not right.’” 

Warren’s campaign website says she does not accept money from PACs.