Sen. Elizabeth Warren believes the super PAC supporting her with millions of dollars in television ads across the country should disclose its donors before voting happens on Super Tuesday, according to the candidate’s top spokesperson.
Warren, after claiming she would disavow all super PAC help in the 2020 Democratic nomination fight, has declined to do so for the help she is now receiving from Persist PAC. The super PAC announced Thursday that it planned to spend over $12 million on pro-Warren television ads in Super Tuesday states.
The group, because of when it organized and filed with the Federal Election Commission, will not have to disclose their donors until March 20, long after millions of people vote on Super Tuesday on March 3.
Kristen Orthman, Warren’s communications director, told CNN on Friday that the Massachusetts senator “believes Persist PAC and all other super PACs should disclose their donors before Super Tuesday.”
A spokesman for Persist PAC told CNN after Orthman’s comment that it will not honor Warren’s request.
“We are not putting out donors outside the mandatory deadlines,” said Joshua Karp, the group’s spokesman.
When pressed on the fact that the candidate it is supporting has requested that it do so, Karp added, “We are just not going to add anything than we have previously said” and will “stick to March 20.”
The pro-Warren super PAC announced earlier this week that they would spend more than $3 million on ads in eight Super Tuesday states, including North Carolina, Minnesota, Virginia and California.
The group then upped that investment Thursday night to more than $12 million, with more ads set to be run in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Dallas, Houston and Boston – all expensive markets where running ads would have drained substantial resources from Warren’s campaign.
At least one donor to the super PAC is known: Emily’s List, a powerful Democratic organization that helps elect women candidates who support abortion rights.
The group, according to spokeswoman Christina Reynolds, gave $250,000 to the super PAC.
Warren has benefited heavily from Persist PAC.
The senator, according to data from CMAG, has just over $1 million in Super Tuesday ad reservation as of Thursday, a figure that represents under 10% of the amount the super PAC plans to spend on ads in the key states.
“So here’s where I stand: If all the candidates want to get rid of super PACs, count me in, I’ll lead the charge. But that’s how it has to be. It can’t be the case that a bunch of people keep them and only one or two don’t,” Warren said in Nevada last week when she declined to disavow the group.
Warren’s support is a backtrack on previous statements she made in opposition to super PACs, including her repeatedly faulting other candidates for accepting their help.
“I heard everyone here talking about as Democrats, we all want to overturn Citizens United because we want to end this unlimited spending,” Warren said during the Democratic debate earlier this month in New Hampshire. “Yeah, except everyone on this stage except Amy (Klobuchar) and me is either a billionaire or is receiving help from PACs that can do unlimited spending.”
She added: “So, if you really want to live where you say, then put your money where your mouth is and say no to the PACs.”
Warren’s campaign website also says she 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,” the site says. “In the meantime, Democrats should show some moral backbone by refusing their own Super PACs in the 2020 primary.”
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has been on the receiving end of blistering criticism over fundraising practices from Warren, said Friday that “the focus right now can’t be on process purity tests.”
He declined to directly respond to questions about Warren’s hypocrisy on Super PACs, saying only: “It certainly seems inconsistent.”
CNN’s Fredreka Schouten and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.