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'Not How We Defeat Trump,' Says Sanders Campaign After Biden Opens Door to Super PACs

"The former Vice President has been unable to generate grassroots support, and now his campaign is endorsing an effort to buy the primary through a super PAC that can rake in unlimited cash from billionaires and corporations."

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders listens as former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders listens as former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo:  Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 Democratic presidential campaign on Thursday announced that they would accept support from super PACs, a reversal of a stance that had lasted through the primary season and is shared by his top rivals.

In response to the news, Faiz Shakir, campaign manager for the democratic presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sounded a note of disappointment. 

"The former Vice President has been unable to generate grassroots support, and now his campaign is endorsing an effort to buy the primary through a super PAC that can rake in unlimited cash from billionaires and corporations," said Shakir. 

As Common Dreams reported Thursday, plans are underway by Biden allies to start a super PAC for the beleaguered front-runner. Biden has struggled to raise money; a CNN report Thursday showed the former vice president has less than $9 million cash on hand. Sanders has $33.7 million.

Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told NBC in a statement Thursday afternoon after the CNN story broke that the campaign was still oppposed to super PACs—at least ideologically. She left the door open to accepting their support due to fears of running against President Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election match-up. 

"Until we have these badly needed reforms, we will see more than a billion dollars in spending by Trump and his allies to re-elect this corrupt president," said Bedingfield. "And let's be clear: Donald Trump has decided that the general election has already begun."

Bedingfield did not explain why Biden would need a super PAC in the primary, where he will not face Trump. Instead, the Biden aide focused on the future. 

"In this time of crisis in our politics, it is not surprising that those who are dedicated to defeating Donald Trump are organizing in every way permitted by current law to bring an end to his disastrous presidency," said Bedingfield. "Nothing changes unless we defeat Donald Trump."

Shakir, in his statement, strongly disagreed with that interpretation of how to defeat the Republican incumbent. Super PACs, said Shakir, are a recipe for disaster.

"That's not how we defeat Trump," said Shakir. "It's a recipe to maintain a corrupt political system which enriches wealthy donors and leaves the working class behind."

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