The group urging Vice President Joe Biden to run for president on Tuesday unveiled an unusual, yet emotional, television advertisement that recalls elements of Biden’s painful personal backstory.
The ad from the “Draft Biden” group, which is titled “My Redemption,” features Biden talking at length about the 1972 car accident that killed his first wife and their daughter and nearly killed his two sons.
The unusually long 90-second ad pulls from Biden’s commencement speech at Yale University last May, less than two weeks before another tragedy would strike — the death of his son, Beau, to brain cancer.
“Six weeks after my election, my whole world was altered forever. While I was in Washington hiring staff, I got a phone call. My wife and three children were Christmas shopping, a tractor trailer broadsided them and killed my wife and killed my daughter. And they weren’t sure that my sons would live,” Biden says in the ad.
“Many people have gone through things like that. But because I had the incredible good fortune of an extended family, grounded in love and loyalty, imbued with a sense of obligation imparted to each of us, I not only got help. But by focusing on my sons, I found my redemption.”
A spokesman for the Draft Biden group said the ad buy is for “several hundred thousand dollars” and will air on national television. It will mostly be featured on CNN, in the lead-up to the network’s airing of the first Democratic presidential primary debate next Tuesday. Biden will almost certainly not participate in that debate, even if he were to enter the race in the next few days.
The spokesman said the buy represents the “floor” for the ad, hinting at plans to expand its airing with more funding. The group is looking into targeted ad buys in the first four nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, the spokesman said.
Biden has been openly wrestling for weeks with a decision about mounting a late challenge to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He has suggested, in the aftermath of his son’s death, that the emotional toll of a presidential campaign might dissuade him from taking the plunge.
But recent reports have suggested that Biden could make a decision as soon as this weekend and that he is leaning toward a run.
The group’s ad ends with, “Run, Joe.”
View the ad below:
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