« I won’t do a conventional job, » he told POLITICO in an exclusive interview. “I’m not going to push the brakes. Full throttle.”
Committed to America The PAC is co-chaired by former Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Republican Agent Scott Reed, who headed Bob Dole’s GOP presidential campaign in 1996 and previously served as political director of the United States Chamber of Commerce.
Saparow said that in addition to his experience with a large-scale paid election contact operation, he has something Pence needs: “I’m also here to vet other candidates. I think everyone is fair game if I think anyone needs to be vetted.
According to a memo Saparow provided to POLITICO before being mailed to donors later Tuesday, the Committed to America PAC has « built the most advanced, analytical, and data-driven voter contact program in the GOP primaries. » In the memo, Saparow says the PAC contacted 120,000 voters in six weeks with 25 propagandists and obtained 20,000 voter IDs. The group spent $415,000 on contact with voters.
“Our tracking data shows that, since the launch of our voter outreach program last month, Vice President Pence’s support in Iowa has steadily increased, ranking second behind President Trump,” Saparow writes.
Notably, no public poll has yet shown Pence in the top two spots.
“Of course, we fully recognize that conventional wisdom will continue to hold that this is an uphill battle for us,” Saparow continues. “But the last three Iowa caucus GOP winners are all voting in single digits right now.”
The memo also includes an implied Never Back Down shot. “Know that you will never see us in the media talking about spending hundreds of millions of dollars on voter outreach to line the pockets of our advisers,” Saparow writes, referring to the propaganda budget DeSantis’ super PAC has pledged to spend over 18 states.
“While we don’t normally comment on candidates below 5% this time around, we’ll make an exception. With no rationale for her candidacy and little public support, I probably wouldn’t brag about knocking on doors to no avail,” said Erin Perrine, spokeswoman for Never Back Down.
Of the committee first announcement praised Pence’s actions on Jan. 6 that Trump « failed the test of leadership. » “I think our first announcement probably shocked some people,” Saparow said.
For weeks leading up to Pence’s entry into the race, Saparow saw a number of talking heads dismiss Pence as too ‘vanilla’ to make a dent in the field. “I wanted to change the narrative out of the gate,” Saparow said. He disputed the notion that the field was more or less settled between Trump and DeSantis.
« I see Ron DeSantis saying, ‘we’re going to spend $100 million on paid voter contact,' » Saparow said. “And it’s like, this guy doesn’t even understand the premise of why you need it. Because if you’re spending $100 million, you’re wasting money.
But there are also questions as to whether Pence’s Iowa campaign will have the resources it needs to accomplish the mission.
An adviser to Pence, who was granted anonymity to speak on the state of the campaign, said people raising funds for Pence are running into questions from donors about whether he has a way out.
« Nothing is hunky dory, » the counselor said. “It’s very competitive. … Everyone we’ve talked to the first thing they say after the launch is, « You’re right, Pence would be the best president, but how are you going to get there? » What’s your path?’”
Iowa, where an estimated two-thirds of caucus attendees are evangelical, is the primary target of Pence’s campaign. His advisers think his conversion from Irish Catholicism to devout evangelicalism puts him in a unique position to reach out to this group.
The memo appears to project confidence, with the PAC saying it plans to « shift our timeline to expand outreach to voters in Nevada and New Hampshire. »
But first they have to do well in the Hawkeye state.
« If we don’t exceed expectations in Iowa, » Pence’s adviser said, « it will be over. »