Sen. Elizabeth Warren is under fire for a stunning reversal of her longstanding campaign opposition to the influence of super PACs.
The Democratic presidential candidate has spent years calling out the political committees for their influence but, after her campaign took a hit following the Democratic contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, Warren appears to be singing a different tune.
After pledging to “disavow” any super PAC formed in her name, the Massachusetts Democrat refused to do so when asked about the Persist PAC which was formed on Tuesday.
“If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in,” Warren said in Nevada speaking to reporters who questioned her about the new group, complaining that she “couldn’t get a single Democrat to go along with me” when she called for all of the 2020 contenders to refuse super PAC assistance.
“We’ve reached the point a few weeks ago where all the men who are still in this race and on the debate stage, all have either super PACs or they were multibillionaires and could just rummage around in their sock drawers and find enough money to be able to fund the campaign,’ she continued, injecting feminism into her argument.
“And the only people who didn’t have them were the two women. And at that point, there are some women around the country saying, ‘You know, that’s just not right,’” she added before declaring her apparently new position.
“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,” Warren said.
The 180-degree turn came only a few short weeks after Warren declared at the Democratic debate on Feb. 7 that she and Sen. Amy Klobuchar were the only candidates not receiving help from super PACs.
Earlier this month, @ewarren stood on a debate stage and attacked her opponents over their support from outside groups.
“Everyone on this stage…is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs…”
Less than 2 weeks later, she refused to disavow a super PAC backing her. pic.twitter.com/CJSH2zjamm
— Walker Bragman (@WalkerBragman) February 20, 2020
She has also been vocal about her stand on social media as well as her campaign website.
It’s disappointing that any Democratic candidate would reverse course and endorse the use of unlimited contributions from the wealthy to run against fellow Democrats.
A handful of wealthy donors should not be allowed to buy the Democratic nomination. That’s not who we are.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 25, 2019
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 20, 2020
.& Here’s what Elizabeth Warren tweeted when Joe Biden accepted support from a new super PAC in October: https://t.co/9sC6pJITmi
— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) February 20, 2020
CNN’s Erin Burnett called Warren out on the hypocritical reversal during a CNN town hall on Thursday.
“So you said on your website you would disavow any super PACs that form to support you. Now there’s a Super PAC in Nevada spending six figures on your behalf. This morning you were asked about it and you didn’t disavow the group. Did you change your mind on super PACs overall?” Burnett asked.
Warren lamented how none of the other 2020 contenders took her up on the challenge to disavow super PACs before admitting that she had, in fact, changed her position.
“Nobody took me up on it. I tried again and I tried again and I tried again,” she said. “So I have changed my position.”
Burnett pointed out that Warren’s website still states that she “rejects the help of super PACs and would disavow any Super PAC that forms to support her during the primary.”
“I’m saying come on, Democrats, all of us should disavow super PACs,” Warren responded, pivoting over to attack the billionaires in the race who “have the equivalent of a Super PAC” which is “their sock drawer.”
“Either we’re going to run campaigns that have unlimited spending, or we’re going to have campaigns where the money goes through the campaign, in which case everybody plays by the same set of limits,” Warren added. “That’s what I believe. I still believe it. I believed it the day I got in this race and I believe it today. I hope every other Democrat will join me and let’s all agree to get rid of super PACs.”
But it looks like the Persist PAC, which is already spending on campaign ads ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucus, is here to stay as the Democrat congresswoman did not disavow the group’s efforts. Pete Buttigieg’s campaign communications adviser was one of many voices slamming Warren’s about-face.
“This is the problem with issuing purity tests you yourself cannot pass. https://t.co/045j85GDqx
— Lis Smith (@Lis_Smith) February 20, 2020
Sen. Warren, debate 2wks ago: “If you really want to live where you say, then put your money where your mouth is and say no to the PACs.”
Today on super PAC supporting her: “It can’t be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only one or two don’t.”https://t.co/NTsV08E15B
— Emily Larsen (@emilyelarsen) February 20, 2020
If it was wrong then, it’s wrong now. Liz. Or else why give such rousing speeches about the influence of money on politics? #WafflingWarren has “conditional” principles with an “end justifies the means” rationale.
— Psychwriter1515 (@psychwriter1515) February 21, 2020
— ange⭐⭐⭐Text TRUMP to 88022 (@chinster2017) February 21, 2020
Warren’s Super PAC flip flop is terrible. She rejected donor money from a high horse when she didn’t need it, and then happily accepted it when she did
That’s not courage or leadership. That’s “running out of money”, and even I can do that
— Karma Condon ⚖️ (@karmacondon) February 21, 2020
Warren is using gender as an excuse to accept Super PAC money. Breathtaking. https://t.co/CAlh0rBvKf
— Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) February 20, 2020
Warren framing her Super-Pac about face as a gender thing is PEAK why her campaign isn’t taking off
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) February 20, 2020
In the span of 24 hours @ewarren has fundamentally changed her position on two important issues – accepting Super PAC money and the sanctity of the popular vote. Getting elected is more important to her than taking a principled stand.
— Eric (@anti_paranoia) February 20, 2020
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