Democrats defend Biden over Afghan withdrawal

US President Joe Biden looks down alongside First Lady Jill Biden as they attend the dignified transfer of the remains of a fallen service member at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021, one of the 13 members of the US military killed in Afghanistan last week. - President Joe Biden prepared Sunday at a US military base to receive the remains of the 13 American service members killed in an attack in Kabul, a solemn ritual that comes amid fierce criticism of his handling of the Afghanistan crisis. Biden and his wife, Jill, both wearing black and with black face masks, first met far from the cameras with relatives of the dead in a special family center at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.The base, on the US East Coast about two hours from Washington, is synonymous with the painful return of service members who have fallen in combat. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

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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