COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A super political action committee supporting President Joe Biden’s reelection is aiming to boost the Democrat's primary campaign in lead-off South Carolina with a television ad featuring Rep. Jim Clyburn, the state's senior congressman whose endorsement boosted Biden's 2020 run.
In an ad from Unite the Country, shared ahead of its release with The Associated Press, Clyburn ticks through what he says are major Biden accomplishments, saying the president “has eliminated $137 billion in student loan debt” and “capped insulin costs for seniors at $35 a month.”
As he often does, Clyburn also mentions his late wife, Emily, who he has said influenced his 2020 endorsement of Biden ahead of South Carolina's presidential primary.
She said “that if we wanted to win the presidency, we better nominate Joe Biden," Clyburn says, of Emily, who died in the fall of 2019. “She was right then, and she’s still right today.”
Unite the Country said the ad is part of a 2024 strategy that mirrors some of the group's efforts in 2020, when it hinged its early pro-Biden efforts to Clyburn’s pivotal endorsement ahead of South Carolina’s primary.
After less-than-stellar performances in other early states, Biden scored a thundering win in South Carolina four years ago, days after Clyburn announced his support. That backing appeared to have served as an awaited signal for many Black voters in South Carolina that Biden would be the candidate to stand up for their interests.
Now, South Carolina Democrats prepare to vote again in a week, serving for this cycle as the party's lead-off primary — a move both Biden and Clyburn supported.
This time, Biden is an incumbent with broad support among South Carolina Democrats, although some of the state's Black voters — who make up a significant portion of the Democratic electorate — have expressed frustration at the pace of the fulfillment of campaign promises.
The ad begins a statewide run in South Carolina on Monday, and after South Carolina’s Feb. 3 primary, the group plans to air it across the country. Since its inception in 2019, Unite the Country says that it has spent nearly $100 million nationally in support of Biden's policies.
Following this year's primaries, the group said it plans to spend an additional $25 million to “reinforce who the president is, and remind voters of why they elected him in 2020."
Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP