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Pro-Biden super PAC pulls TV ad after vice president voices displeasure

Joe Biden and his staff thought the ad was in poor taste and inappropriate.
Joe Biden and his staff thought the ad was in poor taste and inappropriate. AP

WASHINGTON — The super PAC urging Vice President Joe Biden to run for president pulled its first television ad off the air Thursday after Biden signaled he preferred that it not run.

One day after releasing the ad recalling Biden’s family tragedies and vowing to spend six figures to air it on national television, Draft Biden abruptly reversed course.

Josh Alcorn, a senior adviser to the super PAC and a Biden family friend, said nobody respects Biden and his family more than Draft Biden.

‘‘Obviously we will honor his wishes,’’ Alcorn said in a statement.

The super PAC’s inaugural ad featured audio from a speech Biden gave at Yale University in May, a few weeks before his eldest son, Beau, died of brain cancer.

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In the ad, Biden recalls the car crash that killed his wife and daughter just after he was first elected senator in 1972 and says he found redemption by focusing on his sons.

The ad ends with white lettering that reads: ‘‘Joe, run.’’

The ad drew criticism from Democrats and some Biden supporters for appearing to exploit his personal losses for political gain.

Draft Biden revealed plans to pull the advertisement almost immediately after word emerged in a Los Angeles Times report that Biden had seen the ad and hoped it wouldn’t run.

Two people close to Biden confirmed that Biden and his staff thought the ad was inappropriate and in poor taste.

In public comments since his son’s death, Biden has emphasized that his losses are no worse than those experienced by many Americans and that he deserves no special sympathy.

Associated Press

Murdoch apologizes after ‘real black president’ tweet

NEW YORK — Rupert Murdoch, who founded the News Corp. media empire that includes Fox News Channel, apologized Thursday for a Twitter message suggesting that President Obama isn’t a ‘‘real black president.’’

Murdoch praised Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his wife as terrific in a tweet Wednesday, adding, ‘‘what about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide?’’ In a separate message, he encouraged people to read a New York magazine article about disappointment among some blacks about the president.

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Following a backlash, Murdoch tweeted Thursday: ‘‘Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming.’’

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he didn’t know whether Obama was aware of the tweet.

‘‘I did note that Mr. Murdoch tweeted an apology this morning. I also noted that a Fox corporate spokesperson was asked about this and said something like, ‘I’m not going to quote on Mr. Murdoch’s tweets.’ And I’m not going to either,’’ Earnest said Thursday.

Carson, interviewed on CNN, said he considered the controversy ‘‘much ado about nothing.’’

‘‘I know Rupert Murdoch,’’ Carson said. ‘‘He’s not a racist by any state of the imagination.’’

Asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether he considered Obama a real black president, Carson replied, ‘‘Well, he’s the president, and he’s black.’’ Pressed again, Carson said it was an issue of semantics. ‘‘I’m the last person who wants to deal with semantics and political correctness.’’

Former Obama aide and current CNN commentator Van Jones said on that network that he found Murdoch’s tweet ‘‘outrageous and disgusting’’ and said that Fox News had done more to undermine Obama than any news organization had ever done for a president.

‘‘This president has done everything he could do in the face of Rupert Murdoch,’’ Jones said. ‘‘If Rupert Murdoch cares about black people, he should tell the people at Fox News he does so, because you can’t get that from watching Fox News.’’

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Fox had no immediate comment.

Associated Press