Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Back in May, The New York Times reported that a group of Republican strategists had worked with right-wing billionaire Joe Ricketts to prepare an anti-Obama ad campaign that revived the Jeremiah Wright line of attack. The proposed ads focused on familiar clips -- Wright saying "God damn America" and "the chickens have come home to roost." The plan was to release the ad just as the Democratic convention began.

And now, based on a less familiar video that was also unearthed in the 2008 campaign, we have a Wright attack from the Daily Caller, the Drudge Report, and Sean Hannity on Fox News. It comes not as the Democratic convention begins, but as the debates are about to begin.

This may not be what Joe Ricketts was planning, but it's the attack Joe Ricketts wanted.

In May, when word of the Ricketts plan leaked, the Romney campaign repudiated the Wright line of attack -- even though Romney had mentioned Wright in a February interview on the radio show of, um, Sean Hannity:
I think again that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard, not from those who are ardent believers in various faiths, but instead from those who would like America to be more secular. And I'm not sure which is worse, him listening to Reverend Wright or him saying that we must be a less than Christian nation.
The Ricketts/Wright plan was shot down in May -- but last month, when Ricketts started spending serious ad money on Romney's behalf, the messaging was well aligned with the Romney campaign's, as Politico noted:
Joe Ricketts ad blitz has Romney fingerprints

Unlike the controversial aborted pitch for a $10-million attack highlighting Rev. Jeremiah Wright, billionaire investor Joe Ricketts's new super PAC campaign will use themes and players blessed by Mitt Romney and his allies....

POLITICO has learned that the team assembled to carry out the campaign overlaps significantly with the one behind the Romney-blessed super PAC Restore Our Future, including election lawyer Charlie Spies, and ad-maker Larry McCarthy.

Ricketts in June donated $100,000 directly to Restore Our Future, and his political adviser Brian Baker has attended Restore Our Future briefings....

The new Ending Spending campaign will take a much softer tact in its initial ads. They will be based partly on a video the super PAC produced with conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon called "Agents of Change," in which people tell the camera that they regret their 2008 votes for Obama and plan to vote for Romney in 2012....

That theme is similar to one featured in the Romney campaign's rhetoric...
BuzzFeed reports that the Romney campaign is denying any involvement in the new Wright attack:
The relationship between campaign manager Matt Rhoades and Matt Drudge -- whose site first started teasing the video -- has been widely reported, and the Drudge Report regularly features stories and headlines meant to give Romney a boost.

But asked whether Rhoades or anyone else on the campaign was involved in leaking the tape, communications director Gail Gitcho e-mailed, "We did not have any involvement."
Well, I'm not sure what to believe when an operative for the campaign of Mr. Bain Capital says the campaign "did not have any involvement." I'm reminded of yesterday's New York Times story about the many tactics that have been used to reduce the taxes of Bain and the Romneys themselves. So much money is funneled through what are called "blocker" corporations; it's basically money laundering, except it's perfectly legal. What political equivalents of blocker corporations, if any, were involved in this?


Victor said...

Obama and Rev. Wright.

2008 Redux.

I guess there's no news, like old news.

Ok, this will further inflame the base, which is already a 5 Alarm Fire - but any true "Independents" heard all of this 4 years ago, and still voted for Obama.

I keep waiting for the "Whitey Tape" to drop.
Maybe they need to dig up Breitbart, and check him for that video. Maybe he had it on him, when he keeled over, and they buried him with it.

Anonymous said...

But asked whether Rhoades or anyone else on the campaign was involved in leaking the tape, communications director Gail Gitcho e-mailed, "We did not have any involvement."

How do you "leak" a video that's been on YouTube since 2007 and was covered by virtually every major news organization at the time he made the speech? These people are beyond pathetic.