Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks. | Matt Slocum/AP Photo
The original super PAC supporting Joe Biden is getting back on the airwaves, pushing into the 2020 ad wars with spots praising Biden’s economic record.
Unite the Country released a trio of TV and digital ads on Wednesday — part of an existing $10 million ad buy announced in May — that spotlights the former vice president’s track record on the economy, particularly on the recovery efforts following the 2008 financial crisis.
Positive ads aren’t a common messaging theme for super PACs, which are often charged with savaging the opposition. But Unite the Country is working to carve out a distinct lane for itself among a handful of pro-Biden outside groups because “it doesn’t make sense for everyone to everything,” said Lily Adams, a senior adviser to the group. The positive ads come after two disappointing fundraising months that started when Biden’s campaign signaled that another super PAC, Priorities USA, would be its preferred big-money vehicle.
Unite the Country boosted Biden during the presidential primary, as Biden struggled to keep up with his Democratic rivals in fundraising. The group raised $10 million in March, as Biden rebounded and opened a decisive primary lead with victories on Super Tuesday. But in April, when Priorities USA got the nod from Biden’s campaign for its “leadership,” Unite the Country’s fundraising cratered, with just $2 million coming in over the next two months.
But Unite the Country raised over $1.3 million in the first 10 days of June, according to an aide, and the group has partnered with American Bridge 21st Century, another pro-Biden Democratic outside group, to pool research and resources.
Priorities USA, which led Democratic outside spending in 2016, has focused much of its TV and digital ad messaging on attacking President Donald Trump. In March, the super PAC kicked off a $6 million ad blitz, slamming Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The TV and digital ads from Unite the Country will air in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — three Midwestern states that were key to Trump’s 2016 victory and are now key for Democrats to retake the White House.
“Then-Vice President Joe Biden oversaw the 2009 American Recovery Act — 14 million jobs created, the auto industry rescued, the longest sustained job growth in American history,” the ad’s narrator says in the TV spot. “With 6 million kept out of poverty and less than 1 percent waste, he’s done it before. He’ll do it again.”
A pair of digital ads from Unite the Country also highlight Biden’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and his work on the economic recovery in 2009.