First a bit of a primer. Some idiot in the White House, may have been the President, or one of his circle, decided it was a good idea to go after Karl Rove, the Chamber of Commerce, and contributions to the Republicans. They are getting trounced in the donation game and what better way to circle the wagons then to paint the Republicans as being influenced by boogymen, right? First they tried to blame Bush, then Boehner, FOX, and Wall Street. None of it worked so this is the result. Obama on the stump making assertions he can’t prove and now this silly ad.
Last Sunday Rove called out Obama on the attacks and the ad:
“Have these people no shame?” Rove said of the attacks leveled at him and the Chamber. “Does the president of the United States have such little regard for the office he holds that he goes out there and makes these kind of baseless charges against his political enemies? This is just beyond the pale. How dare the president do this?”
“This is a desperate and I think disturbing trend by the President of the United States to tar his political adversaries with some kind of enemies list, without being unrestrained by any facts or evidence whatsoever.”
Out comes the Press Secretary to bury this Administration in his stupidity:
“The president will continue to make the argument that we don’t know where this money comes from and entities like the Chamber have said they get money from overseas,” Gibbs told reporters at the White House~~~
“The president didn’t do a bunch of his stump last night,” Gibbs said. “I expect that the president will continue to bring up the notion that … you’re probably going to see $150-plus million spent on largely negative campaign attack ads where the identity of those funding those attack ads is not known.”
Gibbs was asked if it bothered him that several news organizations, from the New York Times to the Associated Press and also FactCheck, have published reports dismissing the accusation against the Chamber.
“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Gibbs said. “If I was an enterprising reporter … I might ask the Chamber of Commerce to let me see their donors.”
Of course it doesn’t bother him. Pure Alinisky:
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
This morning Rove answered some of Gibb’s assertions, and thanked the White House for helping to get 13.3 million dollars into his organization since last Thursday:
American Crossroads, a Republican organization founded by Karl Rove and former RNC chief Ed Gillespie, is reaping the benefits that come with receiving criticism from an administration polling below 50%. Since the White House began attacking the conservative group last week for not disclosing their donors, the organization has raised $13.3 million — destroying their original fundraising goals and allowing them to target traditionally “low-risk” Democrat House seats~~~
Many of these donations came as a positive response to the administration’s targeted vitriol. A $250 donation from an unnamed physician, for example, came with the comment, “President Obama made me aware of you and I’m sure I’m not alone. Good luck and get the GOP as many as they can win.”~~~
In the wake of such a large influx of money, American Crossroads, its affiliate Crossroads GPS and two other conservative groups will be collectively dedicating $50 million to defeat Democrats in a “House surge.”
These people just aren’t that bright. They dump on Rush and bam! His ratings go through the roof. The slam FOX and bam! Up go the ratings.
They attack Rove and bam! 13+ million in a few days.
Not only does Rove think this is a stupid tactic, so do many Democrats:
In a potential sign of Democratic unease with the White House midterm political strategy, some of President Obama’s allies have begun to question his sustained attack on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has long claimed bipartisanship but is being increasingly identified as a GOP ally.
Some Democrats on Capitol Hill worry that the White House is going too far in charging that the politically powerful business lobby may be using foreign money to fuel its election efforts. The charge ignites strong feelings among job-hungry voters. But Democrats are concerned that it may be overstated and could harm moderate Democrats in swing districts.~~~
Democrats expressing reservations have worked on behalf of moderate candidates with business backing. They recalled past attacks on former President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore for receiving foreign money and warned that White House charges now could lead to GOP reprisals, particularly if Republicans gain control of the House.
Doug reminds them why they should be worried.
Be very worried.
Exit quote from Josh Kraushaar on the attacks:
All expectations were that Democrats would hold a significant financial fundraising edge over Republicans, and that the money advantage would be their one saving grace in surviving an otherwise punishing election year. This was the near-unanimous conventional wisdom well after the Supreme Court loosened campaign finance restrictions in its Citizens United v. FEC decision, and even months after third-party groups like American Crossroads formed with the express intent to help Republican candidates.
Instead, the third-party money has evened the playing field, allowing underfunded Republican challengers to be financially competitive with well-heeled Democratic incumbents.~~~
…There’s a simple reason for all of the cash flooding against Democrats this year — voters are sending a clear message to Washington with their pocketbooks.
Money doesn’t get raised in a vacuum. If the political environment weren’t as poor as it is for Democrats, and if the House and Senate weren’t in play, there wouldn’t be as much interest in donating to outside groups like American Crossroads. In 2008, outside organizations with high-profile GOP connections such as Freedom’s Watch were unable to raise enough money to have an impact.
That’s all changed, thanks to the Obama administration’s aggressive first-term agenda, which has expanded the scope of government and alienated a large swath of the electorate, according to national polling. Wall Street, which closely split its donations between Republicans and Democrats in 2008, has now doled out most of its cash to Republican groups and candidates, out of concern about the administration’s regulatory policies. The Chamber of Commerce initially backed Obama on the stimulus. But now, outraged over White House policies on health care and climate change — and what it views as the administration’s anti-business rhetoric — the Chamber is focusing its efforts primarily on electing Republicans.
And while Republicans and their allies are winning support from the well-heeled, the untold story is the GOP’s small-donor base — not all that different from the one that allowed Obama to set fundraising records in his 2008 presidential campaign.
Individual donors, concerned about the impact of Obama’s agenda, have poured record sums into Republican Senate and House campaigns. In Nevada, Angle raised $14 million in the last quarter, an unprecedented sum that’s expected to surpass Reid’s total, despite his leadership perch. In Florida, Marco Rubio raised $5 million over the last three months, with more than 95,000 individual donors contributing to his Senate campaign.