Draft Biden, the super PAC urging the vice president to join the 2016 presidential race, pulled its first television ad Thursday after Biden signaled he preferred the emotional ad did 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 telling Fox News that the ad was being pulled.
"Nobody has more respect for the vice president and his family than we do," senior adviser to the super PAC Josh Alcorn said in a statement. "Obviously we will honor his wishes."
The super PAC's emotional ad featured audio from a speech Biden gave at Yale University in May, just a few weeks before his eldest son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer. 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 announced plans to pull the ad almost immediately after word emerged in a Los Angeles Times report that Biden had seen the ad and hoped it wouldn't run.
The ad, which was also pulled from the Draft Biden website, is viewable on the super PAC's Facebook page.
Two people close to Biden confirmed to The Associated Press that Biden and his staff felt the ad was inappropriate and in poor taste. They were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter and requested anonymity. 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.
Although Draft Biden is an independent group and legally barred from coordinating with a campaign, it has attracted a number of supporters with close and longstanding ties to Biden and President Obama. Alcorn, who joined the group over the summer and is steering its activities, was previously the political director for Beau Biden, who served as Delaware's attorney general. The ad was created by Democratic ad-maker Mark Putnam, who worked on Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
Biden has said he's considering entering the presidential race, but has yet to make a decision — to the dismay of ardent supporters calling for him to run. Earlier this week, Biden's office pushed back aggressively against suggestions that Biden leaked word to a newspaper columnist of his son's dying wish for him to run in an attempt to galvanize political support.
Fox News' Lesa Jansen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.