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Leaked GOP SuperPAC Memo Proposes Attack On Pres. Obama's Character

Matt Pressberg |
May 17, 2012 | 2:53 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Rev. Wright At White House (White House)
Rev. Wright At White House (White House)
A memo from a GOP-affiliated political consulting group commissioned by a major donor proposed a $10 million general election campaign strategy targeting President Obama's character and revisiting his association with the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, according to the New York Times.

The newspaper obtained the detailed, 54-page proposal from someone "alarmed by its tone" and published selected excerpts in today's print edition, with the full memo posted online. Fred Davis of Strategic Perception, Inc. was in charge of the proposal, which was presented to the family of Joe Ricketts, the founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, Inc. Ricketts' son, Tom, is chairman of the Chicago Cubs.

Obama is bizarrely referred to as a "metrosexual black Abe Lincoln" in the memo, which aside from a flood of television commercials, advocates further measures like full-page newspaper advertisements and aerial banners highlighting some comments made by the president's estranged preacher. According to the New York Times article:

"Apparently referring to a Wright ad that was produced for the McCain campaign by Mr. Davis’s firm but never used, the proposal opens with a quote from Mr. Ricketts: 'If the nation had seen that ad, they’d never have elected Barack Obama.'"

Despite the fact that President Obama has "condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy", as he said in his famous 2008 speech in Philadelphia, Davis's memo plans to double down on this line of attack. According to the Times reports:

"'Our plan is to do exactly what John McCain would not let us do: Show the world how Barack Obama’s opinions of America and the world were formed,” the proposal says. “And why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president’s formative years among left-wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees.'"

Through a written statement, Ricketts denied supporting this type of strategy, calling the leaked memo "one of several" and affirming his plan to go after the president on the economy.

Mitt Romney said that he "repudiates" this strategy and considers it the "wrong course", according to the Huffington Post.

Via a spokesman, President Obama responded forcefully to Romney's boilerplate condemnation, Politico reports:

"Today, Mitt Romney had the opportunity to distance himself from his previous attempts to inject the divisive politics of character assassination into the presidential race. It was a moment that required moral leadership, and once again he didn’t rise to the occasion. Throughout the course of the campaign, he has repeatedly refused to stand up to the most extreme voices in the Republican Party. If this is the 'leadership' he has shown on the campaign trail, what can the American people expect of him President of the United States?"

The former Massachusetts governor has yet to respond to Obama's criticism.

Reach Executive Producer Matt Pressberg here.



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