WASHINGTON – Allies of former Vice President Joe Biden formed an outside group this week that would allow wealthy individuals and corporations to spend massive amounts boosting his 2020 Democratic presidential bid.
Leaders of the super PAC called Unite the Country filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission on Monday indicating that it plans to raise and spend unlimited amounts. The group can legally do so as long as it does not coordinate directly with Biden’s campaign.
The Democratic primary has been animated by a rejection of the big money in politics that super PACs represent and Biden had joined other top contenders in swearing off such groups.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. To speak to the middle class, we need to reject the super PAC system. That’s exactly what this campaign is doing,” he tweeted in April.
But recently he reversed himself after struggling to raise as much money as other leading contenders in the race. His most recent campaign finance disclosures showed that he spent more than he took in during the quarter that ended in September, leaving him with considerably less cash to spend than his leading competitors – Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders – and a fourth contender looking to general into the top tier, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Indiana.
While discussions on the formation of such a group have percolated for months, last week top aide Kate Bedingfield gave Biden’s allies a greenlight to move forward.
“In this time of crisis in our politics, it is not surprising that those who are dedicated to defeating (President) Donald Trump are organizing in every way permitted by current law to bring an end to his disastrous presidency. Nothing changes unless we defeat Donald Trump,” she said.
The super PAC filing from Monday lists longtime Biden adviser Larry Rasky as the treasurer of the group. Rasky, who is the head of the lobbying firm Rasky Partners, is a longtime Biden supporter who previously served as a spokesman for Biden’s 2007 presidential campaign.
Rasky did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
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