Draft Biden's First Ad Features Emotional Speech About Family Tragedy

The 90-second ad urging Joe Biden to run will air around next week's debate

ByABC News
October 7, 2015, 7:03 AM

— -- Joe Biden may not appear on the debate stage next week, but a group seeking to draft him into the presidential race will make his presence known on TV beforehand -- in an emotional spot featuring the vice president talking about family tragedies and potential of the U.S.

ABC News has learned that Draft Biden, the super-PAC urging the vice president to run in 2016, will air its first national television ad on the day of the Democratic debate. In a $250,000 national cable buy, the 90 second spot will air on CNN in the run-up to the debate on Oct. 13 and then again the next day.

The ad splices together audio from an emotional speech Biden delivered at Yale University just two weeks before his son Beau passed away. The vice president recounts the death of his first wife, Neilia, and daughter, Naomi, in a car crash and how the heartbreak brought him closer with his family.

“The incredible bond I have with my children is a gift I’m not sure I would’ve had had I not been through what I went through,” Biden says as photos of his young family air on the screen. “By focusing on my sons, I found my redemption.”

After describing his personal experience with tragedy, the ad features Biden talking about the potential of America.

“You’re on the cusp of some of the most astonishing breakthroughs in the history of mankind – scientific, technological, socially,” he says. “It’ll be up to you in this changing world to translate those unprecedented capabilities into a greater measure of happiness and meaning not just for yourself, for the world around you.”

The ad concludes with simple text: “Joe, run.”

The vice president is expected to make a decision about a presidential run in the coming weeks. Biden has previously said he will not "rush" his decision as he discerns whether he has the emotional energy to run, but logistical deadlines for setting up a viable campaign are quickly approaching.

For the past two months, Draft Biden has ramped up its efforts to pave the way for a potential Biden run. The group has recruited volunteers in all 50 states and has hired staff in the critical early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. It is also looking to hire staff in the Super Tuesday primary states as well as Florida.