Providing further proof that the 2012 elections will the most expensive in history, the conservative-leaning American Crossroads group, advised by Karl Rove, plans to raise and spend at least $120 million in the 2012 elections to truth squad President Obama's campaign, the group's chairman said today.
Chairman Mike Duncan said that his budget was just a drop in the bucket compared to the $1-$2 billion the president, Democrats, and unions hope to raise and spend to convince the nation that Obama has reversed former President Bush's errors and is fixing the country. [See political cartoons about the GOP.]
"We're going to have $2 billion dollars spent in the suspension of reality," he said of the Democratic campaign, adding that what's said by the president about his record shouldn't be trusted.
Asked why Obama shouldn't be easy to beat, considering the economic turmoil in the nation, Duncan added that the president will have the bully pulpit to brag on his record and also that "he's generally liked." And incumbency will make it easy for the president to raise money. [See political cartoons about Obama.]
Duncan, a former Republican National Committee chairman, noted that the president has held over two dozen fundraisers so far, while Bush had held just three at this time of his first term. "He's going to be a formidable opponent in the fall."
Duncan said that after Obama's election, he joined with Democrats to wish the president well. But, he explained, Obama has "choked on the bone of responsibility" and needs to be defeated. [Read GOP 2012 on Obama: 'He Made it Worse']
Both American Crossroads and its sister group, American Crossroads GPS, plan to spend money on issue advocacy as well as campaigns. Among the issues to be hit in the upcoming election are health care and Wall Street reform, as well as regulators with the National Labor Relations Board.
Duncan said that donors are eager to join the political wars and the evidence is that the growth in donations. The group hoped to raise $50 million for the 2010 midterm elections, but collected $71 million. And so far they've raised $3.8 million this year toward their 2012 goal of $120 million.
The group is already spending in about 40 House districts and plans to begin its presidential focus once a GOP nominee is known, likely next spring after enough primaries have taken place to make one of the candidates a winner.
"The Obama camp, with its virtually limitless financial resources, will be active prior to the time that a Republican nominee is chosen. One of the roles we can effectively play is to be a factor during that time," said Steve Law, president of the group.