Super PAC money is looking more and more tempting to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who earlier in her presidential campaign vowed to never accept financial support from PACs.
Following her disappointing showings in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, a new super PAC formed by Warren supporters jumped in to help, Politico reported. And when questioned about the apparent contradiction this week, Warren refused to disavow the PAC support.
Warren flips on PAC money
Warren has repeatedly been quite explicit about refusing to accept money from PACs, tweeting last year, “I won’t take a dime of PAC money in this campaign.”
Let’s be clear: I won’t take a dime of PAC money in this campaign. I won’t take a single check from a federal lobbyist, or 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 do the same.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 9, 2019
But after Warren’s poor showing in New Hampshire, the Persist PAC bought close to $800,000 in ads to support Warren ahead of Saturday’s caucuses in Nevada, according to Politico. And when questioned, Warren has not asked them to stand down.
“Do you want the super PAC supporting you to stand down?” a reporter asked her during a campaign event in Nevada on Thursday.
In a cagey reply, Warren claimed that her vow to refuse to accept PAC money had been contingent upon all other candidates similarly disavowing the dark money donations in support of their campaigns.
If everybody else jumped off a cliff…
“So look, 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,” Warren said. “I’ve renewed that call dozens of times, and I couldn’t get a single Democrat to go along with it.”
The senator then, predictably, played the gender card and said, “Finally, we reached a point a few weeks ago 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 could just rummage in their sock drawers and find enough money to be able to fund a campaign.”
Referencing fellow female candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Warren said, “And the only people that didn’t have them were the two women.”
“And at that point, there were some women around the country who said, ‘Ya know, that’s just not right.’ So here’s where I stand: If all of 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,” she added. Watch:
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
What else will Warren flip on?
Sen. Warren, for entirely separate reasons, has already established a reputation of being dishonest and hypocritical.
Accepting super PAC funds could boost her campaign in the short term, but it also will open her up to questions about what other positions she is willing to flip-flop on — and might actually hasten the demise of her increasingly long-shot campaign for the White House.