(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign is using reports of a new multi-million dollar group targeting his candidacy to raise money for the Arizona senator’s own presidential bid.
In an e-mail sent to supporters of the presumptive Republican nominee Thursday, Campaign Manager Rick Davis said George Soros and “his group of billionaire left-wing Democrats” were planning to spend $40 million dollars on a national television campaign targeting McCain.
“Folks, that is why we need your help and we need it now. We need to be able to answer whatever smear campaigns the liberal left throws at us. Please help as we combat this base demagoguery with a donation of $50, $100, $250 or even $1000 today,” wrote Davis.
Political consultant and Clinton supporter Paul Begala – one of the organizers of Progressive Media USA, whose existence was revealed in a Politico report hours earlier – said that attacks on McCain would be part of the agenda for the well-financed group, though not its sole mission.
"I am not saying we won't talk about John McCain - but the primary purpose is issues, it's progressive coordination, and it’s going to last long past any particular election cycle," said Begala.
Begala is a contributing political analyst for CNN.
Progressive Media USA is supported by Soros and some of the other Democratic benefactors who had backed the Campaign to Defend America, which launched an anti-McCain spot – “McSame” – last month. It will be headed by David Brock, author of the book “Free Ride: John McCain and the Media.”