Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign called fellow Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s super PAC a “huge threat,” urging supporters via email to chip in more money.
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“We have to fight back,” Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir wrote in a Friday email. “And the way we do that is by generating as many donations as we possibly can.”
The super PAC backing Biden spent $650,000 as part of a joint TV and digital ad buy, according to Politico. A 30-second TV ad will run in four media markets in Iowa, an early-voting state in which Biden has lost traction, starting next week. The group made its largest purchases in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.
“They're set to go on the air in an effort to move working-class voters away from Bernie and our campaign to theirs in the final weeks before the caucus,” Sanders' campaign manager wrote. He asked voters to consider donating $2.70 to Sanders in order to generate “as many donors as we possibly can.”
Titled “Courage,” the 30-second ad from Unite the Country touts Biden’s early support of same-sex marriage, his work on the Violence Against Women Act and his passage of an assault weapons ban.
“My mother had an expression: She used to say, 'Remember Joey, you're defined by your courage,'" Biden says in the ad. "The right to be educated. The right to marry who you choose. The right to live free from the threat of violence and fear. These are basic fundamental, universal human rights.”
Steve Schale, a campaign director in Florida for former President Barack Obama in 2008, formed the PAC. Biden initially pledged not to accept PAC money but reversed course in late October amid low fundraising numbers. Biden is among the leaders in a wide field of candidates seeking their party's backing to run against incumbent President Donald Trump.
In the third quarter, Biden’s campaign spent $17.7 million, despite only hauling in about $15.7 million, and ended the quarter with roughly $9 million on hand. Comparatively, Sanders -- who has eschewed traditional big donor events and PAC money -- ended the quarter with $33.8 million in cash on hand, the most of any Democratic candidate.
Trump's campaign, meanwhile, had about $83 million.
“This isn’t a campaign funded by rich people trying to buy an election to protect their profits and the status quo,” Faiz said. “This is a campaign powered by young people and working people who want change. And if we keep fighting, we are going to win.”