A group of Republican strategists and a conservative billionaire have devised an advertising attack on President Obama that highlights his connection to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a controversial figure in the 2008 campaign, The New York Times reports.
A spokesperson for Mitt Romney, responding to the article, said he and the campaign "repudiate" any efforts at what they term "character assassination."
The $10 million plan, which is still being weighed, was overseen by Republican media consultant Fred Davis and was commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of TD Ameritrade, who is increasingly using his fortune to impact this year's election. A super PAC affiliated with Ricketts played a major role in Nebraska's Republican primary on Tuesday.
“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,” reads a proposal by the group, which was obtained by The Times.
The group's plan, scheduled to launch during the Democratic convention in September, is heavy with racial overtones. The plan calls for recruiting an “extremely literate conservative” African-American spokesperson, to handle attacks and charges of race-baiting against the campaign, according to The Times. The group says the spokesperson will be able to argue that Obama misled the nation during his first term by presenting himself as a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln,” the proposal reads.
Matt Rhoades, Romney's campaign manager, did not specifically say that Wright should be off-limits, but did appear to denounce the proposal. "It's clear President Obama’s team is running a campaign of character assassination," Rhoades said in a statement. "We repudiate any efforts on our side to do so.”
During the 2008 race, Sen. John McCain declined to make the attacks involving Wright, Obama’s former pastor, whose racially charged speeches were controversial.