Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign team spent of $924,000 on private jets, burning through campaign funds in 3 months, ending the final quarter of 2019 with under $9 million left to spend, according to Federal Election Commission data released on Wednesday.
The data shows that the $924,000 sum was spent on EJCR LLC Dba Advanced Aviation Team, a private jet charter services company.
Talking to the Daily Beast, a Biden aide said that some of the cost of the air travel was for carbon offsets, compensating for the greenhouse gas emissions which personal air travel causes.
“We are doing fine. Fundraising is building, we’ve raised a lot of money online, and we’ve raised money offline as well. So we feel confident we’re going to be ready,” Biden said.
His campaign also spent lavishly on high end hotels: $20,000 at the luxury Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan, over $14,000 at the Coronado Island Marriott in San Diego, and more than $10,500 at the W Hotel in Los Angeles.
The campaign also churned through $228,378 on research consultants and $150,400 on “strategic consultants.”
According to newly released funding figures for all 12 Democratic candidates, Biden's campaign funding is down considerably as it has spent money faster and raised less over the past three months, leaving him with less cash than all of his main contenders for the Democratic nomination.
Little coverage of Bernie's incredible fundraising numbers (and the working people funding him). I have said that underestimating him is a big mistake. Biden's fundraising numbers are bad (former VP in 4th place), and only coming from high dollar fundraisers. pic.twitter.com/QhoIV2ZEhF— Jake Mercier (@jakemerci) October 4, 2019
Comparatively, Vermont Senetor Bernie Sanders is left with $33.7 million, more than three times the cash on hand of Biden, while Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has $25.7 million - both of which have been receiving much smaller average donations.
Meanwhile South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who in some polls is hanging around fourth place, still has $23.3 million, well over double the former vice president.
With the first state votes of the Democratic race around the corner, funding begins to become increasingly critical to move a campaign along.
Biden’s total therefore raises questions about his ability to maintain his position as the frontrunner, especially as Elizabeth Warren begins to creep above him in the polls, and the campaign confronts accusations of corruption on the part of the Bidens in Ukraine.