White House officials view the group as an important effort to help sell, build and maintain support for Biden’s policy agenda over the coming months — beginning with issues like coronavirus and the economy.
“He has a set of ambitious and bold proposals to move this country forward, and making sure that people who support those proposals and who have grassroots members across the country are involved and in a position to get the information they need is going to help move them forward,” the senior administration official said.
The nonprofit will be run by a group of Democratic strategists who formerly worked on or are close to the Biden campaign, the official said, including: Stephanie Cutter, the 2012 Obama deputy campaign manager who produced the 2020 Democratic National Convention; Addisu Demissie, who ran Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s 2020 presidential campaign; Patrick Bonsignore, the Biden campaign’s paid media director; and Matt Barreto, a Biden campaign pollster.
The outside effort is modeled after a similar operation from the Obama administration, where a group called the Common Purpose Project helped promote the agenda of the White House.
Building Back Together was also formed to be something of a check on progressive groups, which are stepping up their efforts to push the Biden administration leftward. The group is designed to be an umbrella operation to keep a variety of interest groups in step with the White House.
Just as in the Obama administration, some Democrats are critical of the spending on these types of outside organizations because donations and energy flows toward them instead of the Democratic National Committee. But the formation of the group underscores the considerable challenges awaiting Biden as he looks to push his legislative agenda through a narrowly divided ccongress.
This story has been updated with additional information Wednesday.