WATCH: Elizabeth Warren Falsely Claims She Hasn’t Changed Position on Super PACs
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) falsely claimed she has not changed her position on refusing help from Super PACs, even when she was confronted with hard and irrefutable evidence this is not true.
Warren has repeatedly been asked if she will reject the help she’s getting from Persist PAC, and has flatly said she will only do so if other Democrats do the same. It’s a similar argument to the one she made last February — that restricting fundraising amounts to “unilateral disarmament” and a recipe for defeat — but is at odds with the fundraising pledges and critiques she has made since then.
At a CNN town hall event Thursday night, moderator Erin Burnett asked Warren about the PAC, saying “So you said on your website that you would, and the word you used was ‘disavow,’ any Super PACs that were formed to support you, right?”
“Um-hmm,” Warren replied.
Burnett noted that “there’s a Super PAC here in Nevada that’s actually been spending six figures on your behalf. And this morning you were asked about it. You didn’t disavow the group,” and asked “Did you change your mind on Super PACs overall?”
Warren delivered a similar response to those she’d given earlier:
So from the first day I got in this campaign, I said to anybody who runs for president, “Let’s do this without Super PACs. Let’s all agree. Before they’ve gotten into it, before people have invested money in this, let’s all just agree we will all say no Super PACs.”
Nobody took me up on it. So I tried again and I tried again and I tried again. And what was the answer over and over and over? Not a single other candidate would agree with me. So I haven’t changed my position.
Look, if the other candidates would all say, “You know, you’re right; let’s do the primary from this point forward without Super PACs, I’ll lead the charge. Let’s do it. Let’s all disavow Super PACs.
Let’s make this about the money that goes through our campaigns. That’s what I’d like to do. And that’s what I’ll keep fighting for.
Technically, Warren is still not yet telling a falsehood, because Burnett’s question was whether she’d changed her mind “on Super PACs overall,” and Warren’s response is consistent with a wish for this sort of funding to end — a position that is shared by every Democratic candidate.
“So on your website, I know you’re saying this is a matter of practicality, but on your website, it does say Elizabeth rejects the help of Super PACs and would disavow any Super PAC formed to support her in the Democratic primary,” Burnett noted, and asked “You’re saying that’s changed? You’re reversing?”
“No, I am not,” Warren said, adding, “What I’m saying is, come on, Democrats, all of us should disavow Super PACs. And I should add to this, this is also about the billionaire in the race, or the billionaires in the race. And that is, they have the equivalent of a Super PAC. It’s known as their sock drawer.”
She went on to say that, “I hope every other Democrat — I’ll call for it again — will join me, and let’s all agree to get rid of the Super PACs.”
But as Burnett pointed out, printout in hand, Warren’s website contains no language making her rejection of PAC money contingent on the actions of others, and in fact, explicitly acknowledges that other candidates have not done so. Here’s what it still says, as of this writing:
Third, Elizabeth rejects the help of Super PACs and would disavow any Super PAC formed to support her in the Democratic primary. We’ve got to overturn Citizens United because our democracy is not for sale. In the meantime, Democrats should show some moral backbone by refusing their own Super PACs in the 2020 primary.
Watch the clip above via CNN.
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