Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) campaign this week saw hundreds of endorsements from former Obama administration officials and campaign staffers in an effort led by former senior Obama aides, Sara El-Amine and Jon Carson, but admitted it made a mistake by including alleged serial sex predator and Democrat megadonor Ed Buck.
The Warren campaign boasted of the endorsements, which included Buck, who was arrested in September and “charged with providing methamphetamine to 26-year-old victim Gemmel Moore, who was found dead on the living room floor of Buck’s home in the 1200 block of Laurel Avenue in Los Angeles in 2017,” as Breitbart News reported.
Prosecutors alleged that Buck is a “violent, dangerous sexual predator,” according to a criminal complaint.
On September 20, Breitbart News reported that investigators said there were several other individuals who claimed to be victims of the well-known LGBTQ political activist.
“The investigation found at least 10 alleged victims, several of whom described in salacious detail Buck’s apparent fetish to pay men to use drugs and have sex, which often took a dark turn and led to several suspected overdoses,” the report stated.
— guy fieri 2020 campaign manager (@libbycwatson) December 19, 2019
I'm grateful to have the support of these Obama campaign alumni and my fellow Obama administration alumni. Their work changed what we know is possible in our politics. Together, we can win in 2020 and build a government that works for everyone. https://t.co/BPlavS9uSz
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 18, 2019
The Warren campaign issued a statement on Thursday, indicating that Buck’s inclusion was a “mistake” and confirming that he would be removed from the list.
“This was a mistake considering Ed Buck was not staff or an alum. This was put together via Google Docs by some Obama alums, and they caught some nonstaff that populated the list, but obviously, they missed one,” Warren spokesman Chris Hayden told the Examiner:
UPDATE: Warren campaign statement
This was a mistake considering Ed Buck was not staff or an alum. This was put together via google doc by some Obama alums and they caught some non-staff that populated the list but obviously they missed one. They are removing it.
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) December 19, 2019
The Warren campaign is also claiming that it was part of a prank:
1. This was compiled by volunteers from the Obama network.
2. Someone added fake names to the list. The volunteers caught most of them. They obviously missed one.
3. Ed Buck is in prison. He has no access to email. He couldn’t have signed this letter.
— Max Berger (@maxberger) December 19, 2019
That error aside, El-Amine and Carson indicated that the list will continue to grow:
Among other roles, El-Amine was national director of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, while Carson was a national field director for Obama’s 2008 campaign prior to joining the administration. Both served as executive directors of Organizing for America, the Obama grassroots organizing network.
The list of endorsers shared with CNN includes Robert Ford, ex-US ambassador to Syria, and Sean Carroll, a former senior official at USAID. It also features Obama alumni who are currently working on the Warren campaign full-time including in senior-most positions, like Warren chief strategist Joe Rospars, senior adviser Emily Parcell, national political director Rebecca Pearcey and national director of public engagement Alencia Johnson.
“We are a group that really uniquely knows that electability is self-determining and that oftentimes it’s the people with the boldest vision and the most unlikely candidacies early on who can really shift the field,” El-Amine said, according to CNN.
“Sen. Warren really has the zest and the grit and the gumption and the audacity that we loved that President Obama really embodied,” she added.
While the endorsements do not include Cabinet-level Obama officials, it still demonstrates a sizeable portion of the highly-coveted Obama coalition. The endorsements follow looming division over the Obama coalition and its lack of overwhelming support for former Vice President Joe Biden (D).
Carson “pointed out that Warren herself is an Obama alum, having spearheaded the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis — something Warren frequently reminds voters of on the campaign trail,” CNN reported.
“We all got to know each other working on a campaign, but we’re doing different things now and I think we all really believe in the need for big structural change that she is promising,” Carson said. “I think that’s why we’re with Sen. Warren.”
Obama himself has yet to endorse a candidate, but Biden has indicated that he does not need an endorsement from the former president.
“I don’t need an Obama endorsement,” Biden said in an interview with Politico this month, adding that “everyone knows I’m close with him.”