Elizabeth Warren’s ‘No PAC Money’ Pledge Has An Escape Hatch

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly pledged that her presidential campaign will not take any PAC money — but there’s an escape hatch.

The fine print of Warren’s pledge indicates that her commitment to eschew the high-dollar donations that PACs and Super PACs can provide only extends as far as the end of the Democratic primary.

Warren’s campaign team published her pledge via medium.com on Monday, with the additional promise that the Massachusetts senator would not be holding high-dollar campaign events only accessible to wealthy donors.

So I’ve made a decision: My presidential primary campaign will be run on the principle of equal access for anybody who joins it.

That means no fancy receptions or big money fundraisers only with people who can write the big checks. And when I thank the people giving to my campaign, it will not be based on the size of their donation. It means that wealthy donors won’t be able to purchase better seats or one-on-one time with me at our events.

Warren argued that such a move would free up much more time for her to spend with average citizens and would give her team the capability to build grassroots support — a campaign that was truly about the people. (RELATED: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Floats Reparations For Native Americans)

But her team was careful to make sure these promises would only apply to the primary.

Some 16 paragraphs into her 20-paragraph pledge, Warren finally explained how things might change once she entered a general election and was faced with the “Republican machine.”

If we do this in the primary, we will build the kind of grassroots organization we need to win the general election.

By then we’ll be up against a Republican machine that will be hell-bent on keeping the White House. They will have PACs and Super PACs and too many special interest groups to count, and we will do what is necessary to match them financially.

All the language specifically tying Warren’s pledge to the primary, coupled with the phrase “we will do whatever is necessary,” leaves the door wide open, effectively saying that if Warren wins the Democratic primary, all bets are off.

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