Alumni of George W. Bush administration launch pro-Biden super PAC
Hundreds of former members of the George W. Bush administration have formed a super PAC to support former Vice President Joe Biden, saying they are alarmed by President Trump’s conduct in office.
The group, dubbed 43 Alumni for Joe Biden, officially launched Wednesday. The group includes former Cabinet officials and other senior administration members who say they think the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee can “restore dignity” to the White House.
“We’re looking for the largest conglomerate of folks who want to help, whether it’s writing a check, making phone calls, helping to get out the vote, basic campaign 101. We just feel the time now is to restore dignity to the White House, and the current gentleman is not, so that’s why we’re supporting Joe Biden,” said Jennifer Millikin, a committee member of the group who served in the General Services Administration under Bush and the Small Business Administration under Trump.
Members of the group began reaching out to other alumni early last month and saw a quick response among former staffers who were uncomfortable with the Trump administration. The super PAC intends to make public some of its high-profile members in the coming weeks.
“We’ve only been active since June 2, so less than a month, and we have hundreds of former W alumni that are living nationwide and have worked at every single agency including the White House when we were there,” Millikin said in an interview.
“The one common theme between us all is that we understand what it was like working for an administration. We know right now it’s not like that,” she added.
The creation of the group comes amid mounting criticism of Trump over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a cratering economy and civil unrest over systemic racism and police brutality. The president has seen his approval numbers sink, and some recent surveys have shown Trump trailing Biden by double digits.
43 Alumni for Biden joins a slate of other GOP groups that have formed to oppose Trump, including The Lincoln Project, which has seen its profile rise over its biting attack ads against Trump.
The newest super PAC intends to separate itself from other groups by solely focusing on positive messages to reinforce Biden’s campaign.
“We are the only group within these other groups that were all 43 alums,” said Millikin. “And unlike … The Lincoln Project and the other groups that we know of, they’re spending tons of money on ads and things of that nature, which is great. We’re going to raise money as well, we’re a super PAC, but our focus is not negative.”
“We just want to focus on the positives, and the positive message to us is we need a gentleman who actually acts like a leader and, again, restores dignity.”
The super PAC’s specific efforts, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks, will focus on the key swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio and are expected to include a get-out-the-vote campaign and events to connect disaffected Republicans who may consider supporting Biden. The group will also release testimonial videos from high-profile Republicans praising Biden.
Millikin admitted that many of the super PAC’s members do not agree with all of Biden’s policies but believe that the former vice president has the right demeanor to serve as president.
“He’s a good man,” she said. “We as a group have policy differences with him. We’re just looking to have someone in the office who will stand up and act like a leader. We can debate the differences in the way we think about policies, we can have a robust debate, that’s what America’s for. But that’s not happening now, and we feel it will definitely happen with Joe Biden in office.”
The Trump campaign dismissed the new super PAC, painting it as a creature of the Washington establishment that is trying to take down the president.
“This is the swamp — yet again — trying to take down the duly elected President of the United States,” Erin Perrine, a Trump campaign spokeswoman, told Reuters, which was the first to report on the group’s formation.