An ally of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has formally launched an outside group to help the former vice president navigate the primary and defend against attacks from President Donald Trump.
Larry Rasky, a former campaign aide to Biden, is listed as treasurer of the newly renamed super PAC, dubbed Unite the Country, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission.
The move comes just days after Biden’s campaign signaled it had dropped its objections to financial help from a super PAC, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts but must operate independently of the candidate it supports.
“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,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said in a statement last week. “Nothing changes unless we defeat Donald Trump.”
The announcement came after CNN reported a coalition of top Democratic strategists and donors loyal to Biden were moving closer to setting up a super PAC to help the former vice president defend against a well-funded onslaught from Trump and the Republican National Committee.
Rasky did not immediately respond to a CNN interview request Tuesday. But last week, he pledged to “have (Biden’s) back.”
“We intend to fight back against the lies and distortions we’re seeing now from Trump, his allies, the Russians, and the Republican Party. While other candidates have groups supporting their efforts, no other Democrat has to fight this two-front war,” Rasky said.
“We know Joe Biden is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump – and so does Donald Trump. That is why our friend Joe Biden is the target and why we will have his back.”
On Tuesday, in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Biden cast the super PAC push as a “grassroots response” to a $10 million advertising onslaught by Trump and his allies.
“This is an understandable response from Democrats who desperately don’t want to see (Trump) reelected president,” Biden said. “My guess is we would have done the same thing for any Democrats that are attacked in the primary.”
Earlier this month, Biden’s campaign reported having just $8.98 million remaining in its bank accounts – setting off fears among his supporters that he would not have the money to successfully navigate the nomination battle in multiple states early next year.
“They’ve been beaten about the heads and shoulders by President Trump, and they need to defend themselves and have the resources to articulate their message,” one Biden supporter, who has been part of the early super PAC discussions, told CNN recently.
Asked Tuesday about his dwindling resources, Biden said his campaign is “approaching a significant number of individual contributions” and would have “all the money we need to run a full-blown campaign in every one of the early states.”
CNN’s Sarah Mucha contributed to this report.