Biden-backing super PAC launched after campaign drops opposition

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A longtime associate of former Vice President Joe Biden has launched a super PAC to support Biden's presidential candidacy after the campaign dropped its opposition to outside support to counter sustained attacks from U.S. President Donald Trump. Larry Rasky, who served as a top aide to Biden in two of his previous presidential bids, on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission showing him as the treasurer for 'Unite the Country,' a super PAC backing Biden.

Reuters October 30, 2019 02:12:15 IST
Biden-backing super PAC launched after campaign drops opposition

Bidenbacking super PAC launched after campaign drops opposition

By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A longtime associate of former Vice President Joe Biden has launched a super PAC to support Biden's presidential candidacy after the campaign dropped its opposition to outside support to counter sustained attacks from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Larry Rasky, who served as a top aide to Biden in two of his previous presidential bids, on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission showing him as the treasurer for "Unite the Country," a super PAC backing Biden. Rasky did not respond to a request for comment.

Biden has been leading a large field of candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination but has struggled to match the fundraising prowess of rivals like U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who have far outdistanced him in gathering small donations online.

Biden previously joined Sanders, Warren and other candidates in disavowing super PACs during the primary season. Both senators, who are running to Biden's left, have railed against the influence of money in politics.

Under federal law, super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, unlike candidates, but cannot coordinate their efforts with a candidate's campaign.

Biden has faced months of attacks from Trump and his allies, including allegations that he used his office as vice president to aid his son Hunter's business interests in Ukraine.

Trump, who has not offered any evidence to back his claims, now faces an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives into whether he pressured Ukraine's president to investigate the Bidens to help his reelection prospects.

Some Biden allies floated the idea of a super PAC in interviews with Reuters earlier this month, arguing that he could ill afford to forgo any weapons in the battle against a well-funded Trump re-election campaign.

Campaign spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield last Thursday appeared to open the door to a super PAC, provoking criticism from groups opposed to big money in politics, as well as Warren and Sanders.

"In this time of crisis in our politics, it is not surprising that those who are dedicated to defeating Donald Trump are organising in every way permitted by current law to bring an end to his disastrous presidency," she said, referring to campaign finance laws.

Asked for comment on Tuesday, a Biden campaign spokesman referred to Bedingfield's statement. Appearing on MSNBC, Biden said on Tuesday creating a super PAC was an "understandable response from Democrats" committed to defeating Trump.

Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee jointly raised $125 million in the third quarter.

Biden raised $15.2 million in the same period and had just under $9 million on hand after spending more than he brought in. By comparison, Sanders had $33.7 million in the bank, while Warren had $25.7 million.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.