Sep 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Dems defend Biden over Afghan withdrawal

A screenshot shows a snippet of a new ad by Democrats trying to support President Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal.

A screengrab from a new ad by two pro-Biden entities, VoteVets and Unite the Country.

Deep-pocketed Democratic groups are defending President Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal with a nationwide six-figure ad campaign, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While the president hasn't wavered from his decision to remove all U.S. troops, the new TV ads indicate even some of his allies see it as a potential vulnerability amid universal Republican criticism and heavy media scrutiny.

What's new: The new ad campaign is the work of two entities: VoteVets, a progressive veterans outfit, and Unite the Country, a super PAC that backed Biden's 2020 campaign.

  • Their 30-second spot features Dan Berschinski, a retired Army officer who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan in 2009.
  • "He stood by our troops," Berschinski says in the ad. "We stand with him."
  • Berschinski also wrote a Washington Post column last month defending the withdrawal, and saying Biden had been "unfairly vilified" for the "inevitable" violence that followed.

By the numbers: VoteVets and Unite the Country plan to spent $250,000 to air the ad on cable news programs nationwide.

  • The buy includes ad time on "Fox & Friends," the Fox News morning show once popular with Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump.
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