March 10, 2020 / 8:36 PM / a month ago

Democratic PAC to defend Biden with ad campaign in latest sign of party backing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC with the goal of defeating President Donald Trump, is preparing an advertising campaign to defend Joe Biden, the latest sign the party’s establishment is getting behind the former vice president’s bid for the White House.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden attends a campaign stop on gun violence in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The political action committee, which has not endorsed any candidate, previously announced plans to spend $150 million on television and digital ads in battleground states before the Democratic convention in Milwaukee. But on Tuesday, the organization said some of the money will likely go to ads defending Biden against Republican attacks.

“Priorities’ most important role is to fill the gap before the Democratic nominee can access general election funds and ensure that Trump is not the only voice heard,” Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil said in statement.

“As such, if Trump or his allies launch attacks on Joe Biden, Priorities will defend him and continue to take the fight to this corrupt, impulsive, chaotic President.”

Priorities USA, founded in 2011, is among the largest U.S. Democratic political action committees.

Biden has emerged as the front-runner in the Democratic primary after a win in South Carolina and a string of surprise victories on Super Tuesday over his chief rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

Priorities has already begun the process of conducting research and producing both digital and TV ads for Biden’s defense, Cecil said.

The group will remain neutral in primary voting and is committed to supporting whoever wins the nomination. The delegate math now favors Biden, who may consolidate his lead with six states’ nominating contests on Tuesday.

“The alternative of waiting and allowing Donald Trump to define the general election and give himself a potentially insurmountable advantage is unacceptable,” Cecil said.

The winner of the Democratic nomination battle, which has essentially narrowed the field to Sanders and Biden, will take on the Republican Trump in the Nov. 3 general election.

Editing by Mary Milliken; Editing by Tom Brown

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