Wealthy investor Shirley Shawe bought $500,000 in TV ads, set to air this week, to attack former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The 60-second spot blasts Biden for his comments about a court case she and her son were involved in, and it is set to run in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Delaware, the Middletown Press reports. It will air on CNN, ESPN, and HGTV.
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Shawe's dismay towards Biden stems from her son’s translation software company, TransPerfect, which was involved in long and costly litigation. Shawe was also an investor in her son's business. The business was negatively affected due to the dispute, which was resolved by the Delaware Chancery Court. The ad ties Biden to the case by showing him defending the Chancery court system during a Senate hearing.
The ad shows footage from a 2005 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which then-Senator Biden and his fellow 2020 opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who was a Harvard law professor at the time, were discussing the Chancery Court’s fairness. Biden was defending the reputation of the Chancery Court system while Warren was criticizing it for preventing employees of companies whose headquarters are in Delaware from being represented in the court.
Biden asked Warren in the hearing, "Is my colleague suggesting that the Delaware Chancery Court is not open? I find it outrageous such a statement. Maybe you can tell me, is it not a competent court? Is it not an open court?"
The narrator of the ad then interrupts and argues in favor of Warren's position: "That’s right, Joe Biden. It’s not an open court … the Delaware court is too male, too white, and anything but open."
The Biden campaign has called the ad a misrepresentation of Biden's position, arguing it has no place in the campaign.
"The ad misrepresents Vice President Biden's position in this exchange from 2005 by manipulating footage to suggest he means one court when he means another," said Biden’s campaign press secretary Jamal Brown. "It's a clear reminder of the way that third-party money poisons our politics with false attack ads, and it has no place in this race."
"Senator Warren has been on the right side," Shawe said in an emailed statement. "Biden had been on the side of large corporate entities."
The Warren campaign has also weighed in on the ad, calling for it to be pulled as well.
"Elizabeth does not believe individual donors should have an outsized influence in this primary, and has consistently said that Super PACs or individuals with the means to finance ad campaigns on their own should stay out of the primary," deputy communications director Chris Hayden said.
"As a citizen, I'm free to use my voice, and I will not agree to remove stop [sic] my campaign, until the issue of Chancery Court corruption is addressed," Shawe told CBS.
A representative for Shawe said she doesn't intend to promote Warren’s campaign with the ad. Shawe is a registered Republican.