“Senator Warren’s position hasn’t changed. Since day one of this campaign, she has made clear that she thinks all of the candidates should lock arms together and say we don’t want super PACs and billionaires to be deciding our Democratic nominee,” Warren campaign spokesman Chris Hayden said in the statement.
The PAC’s arrival comes at a precarious time for Warren’s 2020 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, after a third-place finish in Iowa and a fourth-place finish in New Hampshire earlier this month. The Warren campaign trimmed its TV advertising in South Carolina recently in order to bolster its ad buy in Nevada.
And Persist PAC’s activity follows a glut of new outside spending in the Democratic race, after much of the field fought for months to keep big-spending outside groups at bay — before the realities of a tight race and stretched financial resources set in for those candidates’ allies.
Hayden’s statement about the new Persist PAC, contrasts with what the Warren campaign said in November, when an anonymously funded group bought advertisements in Iowa. At the time, the campaign called on the group to cease purchasing the ads. On Wednesday, the campaign stopped short of calling on Persist PAC to stop in its tracks.
Last November, Hayden said the “campaign was not aware of this and asks that those involved immediately stop purchasing advertisements of any kind. Elizabeth Warren believes democracy is undermined by anonymous, dark-money attempts to influence voters — whether that influence is meant to help or hurt her candidacy.”
Also this week, a super PAC supporting Sen. Amy Klobuchar — called Kitchen Table Conversations — began buying airtime in Nevada, and a secret-money group opposing Bernie Sanders starting running digital ads in South Carolina. They are joining super PACs backing Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden, respectively, along with a Democratic pro-Israel group advertising against Sanders.
As recently last week, during the Democratic debate, Warren boasted about her and Klobuchar’s independence from super PACs.
“Except everyone on this stage, except Amy and me, is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending. So if you really want to live where you say, then put your money where your mouth is and say no to the PACs,” Warren said during the debate.
Persist PAC is currently airing an ad focused on Warren’s time running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama, which echoes some of the Warren campaign’s recent ads.
“When you don’t grow up rich, you learn how to work,” the ad’s narrator says. “When you take on Wall Street, you know how to fight.”