Obama campaign vs GOP PACs
December 31st, 2011
06:07 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama campaign vs GOP PACs

(CNN) - According to the President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, the president has been the target of negative ads from outside groups totaling tens of millions of dollars - even before the first voting in the Republican primary has begun.

By their tally, outside groups like Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, the Republican National Committee, Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, and the Coalition for American Jobs have spent $16.6 million dollars on anti-Obama ads nationwide. These groups have spent $1.5 million on anti-Obama ads in Iowa alone, according to Obama’s campaign.

Super PACs supporting individual candidates have spent $10.1 million on ads that often include messages criticizing the president and his leadership. These groups spent $5.9 million in Iowa.

To date the spending hasn't changed the race – the latest CNN/Time/ORC International poll shows the president continues to rate ahead of his possible opponents in the GOP field.

Still, the numbers are worrying to Democratic Party leaders, who are increasingly talking about finding new ways to match the GOP's success raising unlimited big money donations. There's talk of bringing in new fundraisers or merging existing efforts.

Scaring donors with the specter of competing against the GOP and its supporting PACs could also be an effective fundraising tool for team Obama. The PACs include the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads, and Americans for Prosperity, financed by the Koch brothers.

On Thursday Democrats seemed to head in that direction. In a video to donors, Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina used stark language to describe the money advantage he believes the eventual Republican opponent will have in the upcoming campaign. He said the president's campaign itself does not accept money from PACs, and called reports he'd raise $1 billion "bull****.”

The campaign will end its fourth fundraising quarter Saturday, December 31st.

Jonathan Collegio, communications director for GOP SuperPAC American Crossroads says "Outside groups on the right like American Crossroads are trying to balance out the completely dominant position that Big Labor has had in American elections since the 1930s."

He says labor unions spent $400 million on the 2008 election according to the New York Times and of the top five outside spending groups in the 2010 election cycle three were labor unions, according to the Wall Street Journal. Collegio insists, the Obama aides are "purposefully ignoring the fact that Big Labor will spend at least a half a billion to elect Obama and the Democrats in 2012."

Filed under: 2012 • American Crossroads • President Obama
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. mary

    I don't have much but every two weeks the president will get a check from me, people thought he was wrong when he said citizens united would have companies controlling our elections.Its the 1% buying our elections because they don't want to be regulated at the expense of the 99%. The middle class have rights!!!

    December 31, 2011 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. willie floyd

    Spend all they like. There are some things that can't be bought-like a vote when you enter the voting booth. Too bad they aren't willing to invest some of that money in homeless shelters or food banks.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    December 31, 2011 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. kenny

    To date PAC & SUPER PAC spending has changed the race. The excessive spending on the part of Republicans has created more not so wealthy Republicans who will not be in the position to give as much to other Republicans as they normally would.

    The sad thing is they are virtually flushing their money down the toilet because Obama is going to get re-elected.

    December 31, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  4. Marla

    I sent in my contribution. Every thinking voter should do the same. We simply can not let the GOTP get the upper hand in 2012. I'll be voting for every Democrat in sight. We need to not only re-elect our president, but to also give him as many progressive Democrats in both houses as possible. Then, this country could begin to make some progress.
    VOTE DEMOCRAT 2012!!!

    December 31, 2011 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. george of the jungle

    us little guys will keep sending our 5.00 and 10.00 each month. Thank you for the job you are doing Mr. President

    December 31, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I really dislike Rove, the Kochs, and all the little republican lap dogs who sit by them and wait for their kibbles and bits.

    December 31, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Lynn

    Just trying to buy the office of President, big money speaks. But their slogan, "take back the country" is slanderous, without saying who they want to take it back from they are smearing Obama and showing their hatred for all things Democrat.

    December 31, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. enough of the wicked "O"

    obama signs away Americans Freedoms, time for rebellion against the Faciat and Marxist DC Elites, Start the movement to rebellion today.

    December 31, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. Jilli

    Just think of all the constructive things that could have been done with all those millions. Instead it's wasted on this hooey. Shameful.

    December 31, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Rafli

    I will send some money when the time comes, this time is no democrat primary, so we can use it later when needed.

    December 31, 2011 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. EatRunDive

    RIP representative democracy

    December 31, 2011 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. Fla Pete

    I like that,Repubs are scared of labor unions and their big money.We know how to pick a winner,something so far the Repubs have had problems with this year.They look like oarsmen in a ship with only left handed oars,going around in circles.Where is the Alaskan snow queen Palin,that will show them out of the forest,when ya need her.I think you could put all the Repub candidates brains in one very small peitry dish for laughs,such a sad state they're in.Spend your money Koch,Cheney,you're going to need it.....

    December 31, 2011 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    They are so fearful that Obama is going to win that they attack first.

    January 1, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  14. T'sah from Virginia

    President Obama is tough and can take it and have a lot behind him to use for ammunition!!

    Obama 2012 – Happy New Year!!

    January 1, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. Marry

    When you look at the amount of money spend in the election (to unnerve the voter), it is high time for a reform of the system and to limit the money spend! Might be a nice question for the candidates…

    January 1, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  16. kat

    This guy is a clown. He's an embarassment to this country.

    January 1, 2012 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  17. Kalif Harris

    Unfortunately...negative ads do work...despite all the successes the president has had...the republicans will focus on his weak points...jobs and the economy...for which the they are mostly to blame...Obama needs to regenerate the excitement he did when he first ran for office...money and negative ads alone are not going to do the job...the american public sees him as weak and ineffective...I believe with Hillary Clinton running with him on the Democratic ticket as the first woman vice president...would recharge the base...and once again excite voters to come out to vote...and reelect him as president...without Hillary...the president is in for a very tough...very ugly reelection fight with the republicans...

    January 1, 2012 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  18. 1crusader

    This election is about a battle for the center and middle class.Mitt Romney and the rest of the not-ready-for prime-time GOP field are scary; and their allegiance to the hard right, fringe elements, and corporate America at the expense of the middle class and disadvantaged should worry the average voter.President Obama is the last line of defense for the middle class , seniors, students, and the disadvantaged.If people take this likely, the middle class, which has shrunk, will be wiped out; and we will only have an upper class and masses of poverty-stricken people.

    January 1, 2012 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  19. Anonymous

    Lets get corporate and union money out of our elections completely.

    January 1, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  20. Debra From Georgia

    He still will win re-election. I bet you a diet coke because I do not have $10,000.00

    January 1, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |