Republican strategists and conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts have teamed up to plan a provocative ad campaign funded by a super PAC highlighting President Barack Obama's ties to the incendiary comments of former spiritual adviser, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, according to The New York Times.
The ad campaign would be timed to coincide with the Democratic National Convention and would do "exactly what John McCain would not let us do," said The Times.
The proposal says, "The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way," according to The Times. The $10 million plan is titled: “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”
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Wright's racially incendiary comments became a problem for Obama during the 2008 campaign, when he distanced himself from the church.
According to The Hill, Ricketts, the founder of Ameritrade and owner of the Chicago Cubs, has already spent $200,000 in Nebraska's Senate race. Deb Fischer, the underdog in that race, won over two more well-known Republican candidates. Ricketts also spent $600,000 in 2010 in an effort to defeat Sen. Harry Reid.
Republican rival Mitt Romney's campaign distanced itself from the super PAC's plan, with campaign manager Matt Rhoades saying, "Unlike the Obama campaign, Gov. Romney is running a campaign based on jobs and the economy, and we encourage everyone else to do the same," according to The Washington Post.
Rhoades continued, "It’s clear President Obama’s team is running a campaign of character assassination. We repudiate any efforts on our side to do so," reported The Post.
Romney himself weighed on the matter, telling the conservative website Townhall, "I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they've described. I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity -- particularly for those in the middle class of America. And I think what we've seen so far from the Obama campaign is a campaign of character assassination. I hope that isn't the course of this campaign."
In a statement, a spokesman for Ricketts said, "Joe Ricketts is a registered independent, a fiscal conservative, and an outspoken critic of the Obama Administration, but he is neither the author nor the funder of the so-called 'Ricketts Plan' to defeat Mr. Obama that The New York Times wrote about this morning," according to The Times.
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