Pro-Trump Super PAC Buys Anti-Impeachment Ads: Campaign Update

Ryan Teague Beckwith

(Bloomberg) -- The nonprofit arm of a pro-Trump super PAC said Tuesday it will spend $1 million on anti-impeachment ads in three key states in the November election.

America First Policies said it will run the ads in Alabama and Michigan, where Democratic Senators Doug Jones and Gary Peters are running for re-election, as well as Pennsylvania, a key swing state for the president’s re-election. The Alabama ad advises viewers to call Jones and “tell him to stop standing with the radical left and end impeachment.”

In Alabama, where the ads will begin Wednesday, the group will spend $850,000 on TV ads and $150,000 on digital ads, specifically targeting Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery.

In a 2017 special election, Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore to become the first Alabama Democrat in the Senate since 1997.

Last year, America First Policies spent some $3 million in anti-impeachment ads, targeting Congressional districts that Donald Trump carried in 2016 but that elected Democrats in the 2018 mid-term elections. -- Mario Parker

Mnuchin Hits Sanders, Warren in Davos Remarks (1:10 p.m.)

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a not-so-indirect swipe at Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Mnuchin said the “biggest risk to the U.S. economy” right now is a political one, contrasting President Donald Trump with two of the senators who are seeking to face off with him in November.

“So, you know, there are some very extreme, socialist economic programs,” he said. “You have some of the candidates -- I won’t say which one -- who want to regulate the top 100 U.S. corporations and set up a new agency in the government to do that.”

Warren has proposed creating an Office of U.S. Corporations that would require companies with revenue of more than $1 billion to obtain a federal charter that requires they look at the effects of their decisions on shareholders, customers, employees and communities where they operate.

Sanders has also proposed a Bureau of Corporate Governance that would require large companies to follow corporate responsibility rules. -- Saleha Mohsin

Clinton Comes Out Swinging Against Sanders (12:47 p.m.)

Clearly, the hatchet has not been buried between presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

In a new Hulu documentary quoted in The Hollywood Reporter, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee calls her one-time rival “a career politician” with little support in the Senate. “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he gets nothing done,” she says. “It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”

In the interview, Clinton also criticizes the attacks by “his online Bernie Bros” on Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and other women running for office. She even declines to say whether she would endorse Sanders or campaign for him if he wins the nomination.

The criticism is harsh, but it still pales in comparison to the last time a party’s previous nominee went after a current contender. In 2016, Mitt Romney argued that Donald Trump was a reckless, dishonest, unstable, misogynistic con man and a phony.

For his part, Sanders brushed off the remarks. “My focus today is on a monumental moment in American history: the impeachment trial of Donald Trump,” he said in a campaign statement. “Together, we are going to go forward and defeat the most dangerous president in American history.” -- Emma Kinery

Surrogates Take to Iowa During Impeachment (11:16 a.m.)

The four senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination are leaning heavily on surrogates while they are stuck in Washington serving jury duty on President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

As the Senate trial gets under way in earnest this week, Elizabeth Warren is sending in Representative Ayanna Pressley, Bernie Sanders is putting forward Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Klobuchar is leaning on local officials and Michael Bennet has former Clinton adviser James Carville.

And everyone is sending their spouses.

Surrogates can only do so much, especially if they’re not as well-known as Sanders and Warren, who are often big draws on the trail.

But they may prove helpful in another way, as the race turns more negative in the waning days. Candidates have long used surrogates to criticize rivals while keeping their own hands clean, although Sanders apologized Tuesday when one of his supporters wrote in an op-ed that Joe Biden “has a big corruption problem.”

Sanders, Biden Lead in New Hampshire Poll (7:47 a.m.)

A new poll found Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden have the most support among Democratic voters in New Hampshire, though they were closely followed Senator Elizabeth Warren and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who were both within the survey’s margin of error.

About 16% of likely voters said they support Sanders, with 15% saying they preferred Biden, according a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll released Tuesday. Sanders and Biden were closely trailed by Buttigieg, with 12%, and Warren, with 10%. The results for Warren and Buttigieg were both within the poll’s 4.4 percentage-point margin of error.

Buttigieg, at 14% support, was most likely to be voters’ secon-choice candidate, closely followed by Warren, Sanders and Biden.

The results show a tight race that remains in flux in the weeks leading up to start of presidential balloting. The poll indicates the standing could change as more voters make up their mind or change their first choice after seeing how the candidates perform in the Feb. 3 Iowa caucus.

About 24% of likely Democratic primary voters said they were still undecided. Nearly half -- about 47% -- said their first choice could change before the Feb. 11 primary. The poll was conducted Jan. 15-19. -- Laura Davison

COMING UP:

Buttigieg and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg both plan to address the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Wednesday. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News

Some of the Democratic candidates will debate again in New Hampshire on Feb. 7.

The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses will be held Feb. 3. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. Nevada holds its caucuses on Feb. 22 and South Carolina has a primary on Feb. 29.

(Disclaimer: Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. He is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

--With assistance from Laura Davison, Emma Kinery, Saleha Mohsin and Mario Parker.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Teague Beckwith in New York at rbeckwith3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Magan Crane

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.