Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, the latest Democrat to enter the presidential race, will not rule out using super PACs to kick-start his campaign.
In an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Patrick said he’s “not crazy about super PAC money,” but thinks “we need to do some catch-up,” having entered the race relatively late.
“So I think we’ve got to follow and find all sorts of above-board strategies,” he added.
Pressed by host Chuck Todd to definitively state whether he is planning to swear off the help of super PACs, Patrick said, “No, I’m not.”
“I will say that I would like to see any contributions to such a PAC fully disclosed,” he said, clarifying that “if there is going to be super PAC money that supports me, the sources of that should be fully disclosed.”
Super PACs cannot donate directly to a candidate, but can raise unlimited funds from individuals, corporations, associations and unions to finance advertisements, make calls, send mailers and other routine operations that would typically be orchestrated by a campaign.
Patrick, who launched his 2020 bid on Thursday, is one of a small handful of Democratic candidates to not reject super PACS. Many of the party’s White House hopefuls have spoken out against the unfair influence of such groups in politics.
In October, former Vice President Joe Biden reversed his initial stance against super PACs, welcoming their support after starting the month with less than $9 million in cash on hand ― placing him well behind certain of his challengers, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Each had more than $20 million in the bank at that time, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Democratic 2020 hopeful and entrepreneur Andrew Yang has also welcomed the support of a super PAC. Some have been formed to support New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker in the race, though he has said he doesn’t want help from such groups.