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'Super PAC' donor may bring back Rev. Jeremiah Wright attacks

May 17, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • In this file photo, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaks in Jackson, Miss.
In this file photo, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright speaks in Jackson, Miss. (Rogelio V. Solis / Associated…)

WASHINGTON -- A pending plan by top GOP strategists would bring back a familiar face from the 2008 presidential campaign, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in a massive $10-million campaign directed at drawing attention to connections between President Obama and the controversial reverend.

“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,” the proposal pledges, according to documents obtained by the New York Times.

The plan, titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good,”  is one of many being presented to Joe Ricketts, an outspoken supporter of conservative causes and founder of TD Ameritrade, who is more than willing to put his money where his political views are. Ricketts is currently the main financer of the “super PAC” Ending Spending Action Fund. Fred Davis, a Republican strategist who was behind Christine O’Donnell’s “I am not a witch” and Sen. John McCain’s “Celebrity” advertisements, led the plan’s formation.

The proposal’s objective, according to the leaked documents, 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.”

To present its view, the super PAC would not only buy ad time, but use an “extremely literate conservative African American” as a spokesman against Obama, who is referred to as a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”

The issue of Obama’s relationship with Wright was one of his campaign’s major hurdles in 2008, with Wright’s inflammatory comments, including the assertion that Sept. 11 was evidence “America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” following the then-senator along the campaign trail.

Following a speech by Wright at the National Press Club, in which he reiterated his Sept. 11 remarks, along with the belief that the U.S. government possibly had a hand in the propagation of AIDs among the African American community, Obama ramped up his efforts to distance himself from his former spiritual advisor, and eventual cut his ties with the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where Wright had preached.

"What [Wright] said over the last few days and in some of the sermons that have been excerpted were unacceptable and weren't things that we believed in or cared about or cared to believe in," Obama said in May 2008. "What we want to do now, though, is to make sure that this doesn't continue to be a perpetual distraction."

But if Ricketts and his super PAC approve the proposal, Obama’s “perpetual distraction” could come back to roost.

Mitt Romney’s campaign has so far refused to say that it would indulge in any attacks on Obama utilizing Wright, though that doesn’t by any means limit what Ending Spending can do independently.

“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,” Romney Campaign Manager Matt Rhoades said in a statement. “Obama’s team said they would ‘kill Romney,’ and, just last week, David Axelrod referred to individuals opposing the president as ‘contract killers.’  It’s clear President Obama’s team is running a campaign of character assassination.  We repudiate any efforts on our side to do so.”

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina responded harshly to the reported proposal.

"This morning's story revealed the appalling lengths to which Republican operatives and super PACs apparently are willing to go to tear down the president and elect Mitt Romney," he said. "The blueprint for a hate-filled, divisive campaign of character assassination speaks for itself."

To read the proposal in full, click here.

morgan.little@latimes.com

Original source: 'Super PAC' donor may bring back Rev. Jeremiah Wright attacks

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