Featured on NBC's TODAY Monday, June 11
Featured on NBC's TODAY Monday, June 11
Huffington Post: Mitt Romney Cast As Out Of Touch With Hispanics In New Ad By SEIU, Priorities USA Action
Mitt Romney Cast As Out Of Touch With Hispanics In New Ad By SEIU, Priorities USA Action
By Sam Stein
June 11, 2012
WASHINGTON -- A leading labor union and allied super PAC are launching a multi-million dollar ad campaign hitting Mitt Romney for his notable primary-season blunders while seeking to drive a wedge between him and Hispanic voters.
The Spanish-language spot, paid for by the Service Employees International Union and sponsored by Priorities USA Action, will air in Colorado, Nevada and Florida, key swing states with large Hispanic populations. With 4 million dollars behind it, the campaign is one of the largest of the cycle to target that increasingly influential voting bloc.
"In the primary process, Mitt Romney embraced the most extreme policies in the history of the Republican party. Latinos say they are insulted and angry when they watch Romney, a multi-millionaire with a couple Cadillacs, joke about his 'unemployment' status," said Eliseo Medina, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU. "When Latinos hear Romney, in his own words, they really know what’s going on and what he is saying."
To prove that point, the ad shows Hispanic voters' real-time reactions as they listen to clips of Romney making the slip-ups that plagued his primary campaign. As the former Massachusetts governor says that he too is unemployed, or that he's not concerned about the very poor, a man and a woman are shown shaking their heads in disbelief.
"It’s easy for him to say that, since he doesn’t have the same necessities as us," the man says. "When you are really out of work … you are worried, you don’t want to laugh or make fun of anybody."
The ad reflects the type of strategic mindset that Democrats have come to embrace in light of the massive amounts of money being pumped into conservative super PACs. Instead of making broad appeals to voters, progressive groups are looking increasingly toward turning out critical blocs.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the ad.
Hispanics hold immense political promise for Democrats, having voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama in 2008 and given the fact that the Latino population is only expanding. But as a Sunday New York Times article noted, "Latinos are not registering or voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latino support."
Romney himself recently released an ad that attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters by homing in on the state of the economy.
The newest ad is airing on both television and radio. SEIU is paying for the former and Priorities USA is covering the latter, an official with the super PAC explained.
UPDATE: Andrea Saul, a spokesperson for the Romney campaign, emailed over the following reply to the new ad:
More Hispanics have lost their jobs under this president than any president in modern history. The same month Hispanic unemployment jumped to 11%, President Obama declared the private sector is ‘doing fine.' President Obama and his allies will do anything to distract from the fact that Hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard in the Obama economy. Mitt Romney is focused on his plans to create jobs and get the economy back on track.
A new Spanish language ad against Romney in Fla
Tampa Bay Times
By Adam Smith
June 11, 2012
The Service Employees International Union is teaming up with the pro-Obama SuperPAC Priorities USA for a new $4-million TV and radio ad campaign in Florida, Colorado and Nevada through the summer.
“Mitt Romney shows his true colors and what his intentions are,” said healthcare worker and SEIU Local 1199 member Raphael Suarez from Kissimmee, Florida. “Mitt Romney only cares about corporations and their profits. I'm proud to voluntarily contribute to COPE, our PAC fund, to ensure that Romney's record on the economy, immigration and workers gets out to the community so Hispanics can make informed decisions about what's at stake for working families.”
"Our members want to make sure that people know the truth and are informed on the facts," said Monica Russo, SEIU Florida president. "Mitt Romney's own words show the facts about how he feels about our communities."
Here's the script in English:
(text on screen) MITT ROMNEY IN HIS OWN WORDS.
ROMNEY: You can focus on the very poor, that’s not my focus
VOTER 1 FEMALE: What about us? He’s not thinking about us.
VOTER 2 MALE: It’s easy for him to say that since he doesn’t have the same necessities as us.
VOTER 1 FEMALE: He is… just thinking about those that have made money already.
(text on screen) MITT ROMNEY MADE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS LEAVING
THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WITHOUT WORK.
ROMNEY: I’ll also tell my story: I’m also unemployed.
VOTER 2 MALE: When you are really out of work… you are worried, you don’t want to laugh or make fun of anybody.
VOTER 1 FEMALE: I feel that he should not be the person that leads this country.
(voice over) SEIU COPE is responsible for the content of this advertisement.
(text on screen) Mitt Romney: His words say it all.
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Paid by for SEIU COPE, SEIU.org, which is responsible for the content of this advertisement. Not authorized by any candidate or committee.
Hispanic voters targeted in new ad blitz for Obama
By JULIE PACE
June 11, 2012
WASHINGTON -- One of the nation's largest unions and a Democratic super PAC supporting President Barack Obama launched a joint $4 million Spanish-language advertising campaign on Monday, targeting Hispanic voters.
The ads, sponsored by the Service Employees International Union and Priorities USA Action, argue that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's policies would benefit the wealthiest Americans at the expense of Hispanics and other working families.
Priorities USA Action, founded by two former Obama White House aides, has struggled in fundraising compared with Republican-leaning super PACs like American Crossroads and its nonprofit arm, Crossroads GPS. But the super PAC's partnerships with SEIU and other organizations, including the League of Conservation Voters and the United Auto Workers, help the group compete with the better funded GOP-leaning political action committees.
The political wing of SEIU has given a combined $1 million to Priorities USA Action during the current election cycle.
The Priorities USA advertising partnerships with SEIU have focused primary on Hispanic voters, a key election-year constituency for Obama. The ads released Monday use past statements made by Romney, including his assertion that the very poor were not his focus, to try to make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee would be harmful to Hispanics.
The ads will run on television and radio stations in Colorado, Nevada and Florida - all battleground states with sizeable Hispanic populations - throughout the summer.
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign on Monday also released a new online video today on what it says is a Romney plan to eliminate police officer, firefighter and teacher positions.
The video asserts that "this approach is nothing new to Mitt Romney - it's the same one he pursued in Massachusetts."
The video charges that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney cut funding for education and first responders and says that lead to layoffs, even though he expanded the size of state government overall.
The new web video features interviews with Massachusetts elected officials who served during Romney's tenure -and highlights the local impact of the cuts he made at the state level to teachers, firefighters and police.
Watch the roundtable discussion on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos from Sunday, June 10:
POLITICO: GOP groups plan $1 billion blitz
By: Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei
May 30, 2012 04:34 AM EDT
Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.
That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections - twice what they had been expected to commit.
Just the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago. And the $1 billion total surpasses the $750 million that Barack Obama, one of the most prolific fundraisers ever, collected for his 2008 campaign.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, proved its potency by spending nearly $50 million in the primaries. Now able to entice big donors with a neck-and-neck general election, the group is likely to meet its new goal of spending $100 million more.
And American Crossroads and the affiliated Crossroads GPS, the groups that Rove and Ed Gillespie helped conceive and raise cash for, are expected to ante up $300 million, giving the two-year-old organization one of the election’s loudest voices.
“The intensity on the right is white-hot,” said Steven Law, president of American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS. “We just can’t leave anything in the locker room. And there is a greater willingness to cooperate and share information among outside groups on the center-right.”
In targeted states, the groups’ activities will include TV, radio and digital advertising; voter-turnout work; mail and phone appeals; and absentee- and early-ballot drives.
The $1 billion in outside money is in addition to the traditional party apparatus – the Romney campaign and the Republican National Committee – which together intend to raise at least $800 million.
The Republican financial plans are unlike anything seen before in American politics. If the GOP groups hit their targets, they likely could outspend their liberal adversaries by at least two-to-one, according to officials involved in the budgeting for outside groups on the right and left.
By contrast, Priorities USA Action, the super PAC supporting President Barack Obama’s reelection, has struggled to raise money, and now hopes to spend about $100 million. Obama’s initial reluctance to embrace such groups constrained fundraising on the Democratic side, which is now trying to make up for lost time.
Labor could add another $200 million to $400 million in Democratic backing.
The consequences of the conservative resurgence in fundraising are profound. If it holds, Romney and his allies will likely outraise and outspend Obama this fall, a once-unthinkable proposition. The surge has increased the urgency of the Democrats’ thus-far futile efforts to blunt the effects of a pair of 2010 federal court rulings – including the Supreme Court’s seminal Citizens United decision – that opened the floodgates for limitless spending, and prompted Obama to flip-flop on his resistance to super PACs on the left.
“We’re not making any attempt to match American Crossroads or any of those groups with television ads,” said Michael Podhorzer, political director for the AFL-CIO. Instead, much of labor’s money will be spent on talking directly with union members and other workers.
“Progressives can’t match all the money going into the system right now because of Citizens United, so we have to have a program that empowers the worker movement,” Podhorzer said.
Much of the public focus has been on how these outside groups will tilt the balance of power in fundraising at the presidential level. But POLITICO has learned that Republicans involved with the groups see the combined efforts playing out just as aggressively at the congressional level, in below-the-radar efforts designed to damage Democratic candidates for the House and Senate.
The officials said that if Romney looks weak in the final stretch, the vast majority of the money could be aimed at winning back the Senate. Republicans need four seats to do that, if Obama is re-elected.
Republicans have taken one big lesson away from campaigns conducted to date in 2011 and 2012: outside money can be the difference-maker in elections.
It was outside money from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson that single-handedly kept Newt Gingrich afloat against Romney. A super PAC spending surge fueled by Wyoming mutual fund guru Foster Friess was credited with powering Rick Santorum to an upset win in the Iowa caucuses. And outside money has helped lift tea party challengers past incumbents like Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) in this year’s primaries.
Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney super PAC, spent twice as much on the air as the campaign did in the thick of the primaries: Through March, the campaign had put $16.7 million into TV, while ROF shelled out $33.2 million.
In Florida, the super PAC outspent the campaign, $8.8 million to $6.7 million. (The campaign can get more spots per dollar because of more favorable rates.) In Michigan, it was $2.3 million to $1.5 million. In Ohio, ROF outspent the campaign, $2.3 million to $1.5 million.
Now Republicans are applying this approach - on steroids - to the remainder of the campaign:
—Groups affiliated with Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who are among the biggest behind-the-scenes players in Republican politics, will spend the most of any outside outfit on either side: roughly $395 million for issue and political advocacy by groups they support – twice the amount they previously had been expected to commit.
“People are energized because the future of our country and economy is at stake,” said an ally familiar with the Koch effort.
The flagship group in the Koch network is Americans for Prosperity, which gets about half its funds from other donors.
— American Crossroads and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (GPS) plan to do about two-thirds of their spending on advocacy related to the presidential race, and the rest relating to House and Senate races. Crossroads (a super PAC) was founded in April 2010, Crossroads GPS (a 501(c)4 non-profit group) started the next month.
—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a goal of $100 million, according to outsiders familiar with the plans. All of that will be focused on congressional races, with the House as the top priority – what organizers call “the first insurance policy” if Obama were to get reelected.
But the Chamber’s message, which includes attacks on Obama’s health-care plan, can be expected to help Romney in several states with competitive Senate races that are also presidential battlegrounds – Florida, Ohio, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin.
—The YG Action Fund, the super PAC started by aides of the two self-styled “Young Guns” – House Republican Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — has a goal of raising about $30 million, including the YG Network.
—American Action Network, chaired by former senator Norm Coleman, raised about $30 million in the 2010 election cycle and is likely to try to at least match that amount in 2012, with most of that going toward congressional races.
—The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC supported by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House GOP leaders, has reported raising $5 million so far.
—The pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, is likely to raise $50 million to $100 million for the general election. “They saw that the spending worked before, and with the race this competitive, it will be even easier for them to raise money now,” said a source close to the group.
Charlie Spies, co-founder and counsel of Restore Our Future, said: “While there are multiple other groups doing important work to assist Republicans up and down the ticket, ROF is the only group dedicated solely to electing Mitt Romney, and targeting every dollar that we raise towards supporting him. ROF will spend our resources fighting back against the Obama team’s distortions and smears.”
—FreedomWorks, the Dick Armey-led tea party outfit that has backed challengers in GOP congressional primaries, is expected to spend $30 million or more on issue advocacy, campaign ads and organizing — between its super PAC and 501(c)4.
—The Republican Jewish Coalition, a 501(c)4 group that works closely with the Crossroads outfits and the American Action Network, plans to spend more than $6 million on “the largest, most expensive, most sophisticated outreach effort ever undertaken in the Jewish community,” according to a source familiar with its plans.
—Club for Growth plans spending in congressional races but does not reveal totals.
It’s important to step back for a moment to understand the currents racing through the money chase right now. Republicans, back in the era of soft money, dominated fundraising, thanks in large part to big business donors. But when soft money was outlawed in 2002, a lot of business donors got uneasy about feeding their money through outside groups. Many sat out. At the same time, liberals got into the business of using tax-exempt and other groups to build their own web of think tanks, media monitors, vote-trackers and advocacy groups to influence politics. Rich liberals such as George Soros and union leaders funded much of it.
By the time 2008 rolled around, Obama and the Democrats were rolling over Republicans in the race for campaign cash raised in limited chunks, and Obama largely discouraged big-money outside efforts. Things have changed rapidly – and, in some respects, radically — since then.
First, Citizens United made it easy and less risky for rich donors to get back in the game. Second, a subsequent lower court case paved the way for the creation of super PACs, giving mega-donors arguably the most effective vehicle for funding ads in the modern campaign finance era. Third and perhaps most important, Obama scared many free-market millionaires into action with what they perceive as his outright hostility to capitalism.
Kenneth P. Vogel contributed.
New York Times: ‘Super PACs’ Release Dueling Ads
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
A former Obama aide on Tuesday criticized a new ad by a Republican “super PAC” for featuring a fictional family suffering from President Obama’s economic policies.
“In our ads, we portray real-life stories of Americans who were devastated by the decisions Mitt Romney made,” said the former aide, Bill Burton, who helped found Priorities USA Action.
The target of his ire? An ad by Crossroads GPS that highlights the struggles of a woman whose grown children are forced to move in with her because of the worsening economy during Mr. Obama’s tenure.
Mr. Burton’s group has been running ads featuring workers who lost jobs at companies owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm Mitt Romney used to run.
“You don’t need actors to know the reality of how Mitt Romney’s policies would make life even tougher for middle class families,” Mr. Burton said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Burton’s group released its own ad featuring a woman who was laid off from an Indiana office supply company after it was bought by Bain.
“I was suddenly 60 years old. I had no health care. And that’s scary,” the woman says. “When Mitt Romney did that he, he made, he made me sick.”
The criticism by Mr. Burton of the Crossroads ad comes after Mr. Obama’s campaign received similar flack for creating the character of “Julia” in a Web-based advertisement meant to highlight the impact of Republican policies on young women.
Mr. Romney mocked the “Julia” graphic in a speech in Michigan this month, calling it a “cartoon” and dismissed the “imaginary life filled with happy milestones” it portrays.
“What does it say about a president’s policies when he has to use a cartoon character rather than real people to justify his record?” Mr. Romney said in the speech. “What does it say about the fiction of old liberalism to insist that good jobs and good schools and good wages will result from policies that have failed us, time and again?”
Yet, the Crossroads ad uses largely the same tactic on Mr. Romney’s behalf, inventing a suburban mom who laments that her children can’t find jobs and that she can’t afford to retire.
“I always loved watching the kids play basketball. I still do, even though things have changed,” the woman says in the ad. “Things changed for the worse. Obama started spending like our credit cards have no limit.”
The Crossroad ad shows pictures of the fictional family on the fireplace mantle as the woman laments Mr. Obama’s policies.
In a statement to reporters, Mr. Burton says of the ad by Crossroads, the group founded by the Republican strategist Karl Rove :
“If Romney wins, the fictional woman in Rove’s ad would see the ‘gradual demise’ of her fictional Medicare. Her fictional adult children could no longer be carried on her fictional health insurance, and the student loans for those kids would cost more. And all of that would be so that Romney could give the fictional wealthy — not portrayed in the ad — massive tax cuts.”
Pro-Romney PAC Is Killing Machine With $35 Million in Ads
by Heidi Pryzbola
March 27 (Bloomberg) -- A new ad airing today in the run-up to the April 3 Wisconsin primary replays footage of Rick Santorum saying he doesn't "care what the unemployment rate's going to be" and accuses him of voting against national right- to-work legislation.
It's the latest attack spot sponsored by Restore Our Future, a so-called super-political action committee supporting Mitt Romney, aimed at derailing Santorum's candidacy in Wisconsin by running more than 1,647 attack ads that the former Pennsylvania senator's campaign says are misleading.
The commercial fits a pattern that has become a defining feature of the 2012 Republican presidential primary race. Since the contests began, Restore Our Future has spent $35 million on commercials attacking Santorum and Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker, the two candidates who have come closest to knocking Romney out of front-runner status, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political money. The super-PAC has spent just $1.1 million promoting Romney, the data shows.
"They need to demonize and destroy, they need to slash and burn their opponents," said David Johnson, a Republican strategist from Atlanta who worked on former Senator Bob Dole's presidential bid in 1988 and is unaffiliated with any candidate this cycle. "That's the only way Romney can win" because he has "no base of support," he said.
3 Majority-Vote Wins
In the 29 states holding primary competitions thus far, Romney has gotten a majority only 3 times: in his home state of Massachusetts; in Virginia, where Santorum and Gingrich weren't on the ballot; and in Idaho. In Nevada, he got 50.1 percent support among caucus attendees.
In contrast to the super-PAC, Romney's campaign has spent $11.8 million on broadcast ads, according to the CRP. The campaign has aired 12,817 spots, almost all of them positive, since January of 2011, according to CMAG.
The Romney commercial run most often is called "Moral Responsibility" and touts his commitment to be a strong financial steward for the nation. Another ad calls Romney a "man of steadiness," citing his 42-year marriage to Ann Romney, his lifelong membership in the same church and his employment at Bain Capital LLC for 25 years.
Both the Romney campaign and Restore Our Future declined to comment through their spokeswomen, Andrea Saul and Brittany Gross.
John Brabender, a Santorum senior adviser, called the pro- Romney super-PAC ads "troubling," particularly since they are aimed at Republicans. "Why in the world didn't he spend his $35 million running ads against Obama instead of brutally attacking Republicans?" Brabender said.
The pro-Santorum political action committee, the Red, White and Blue Fund, today is hitting back with an ad in Wisconsin highlighting Romney's "job-killing taxes and fees" as governor of Massachusetts, a $1 billion debt and his health-care plan that was a "blueprint for Obamacare." That ad also leaves out the fact that Romney has said the law was a state-specific solution and that he would repeal Obama's law if elected president.
In Wisconsin, and elsewhere, the campaign ads illustrate the role that super-PACs are playing in presidential elections after the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that independent third parties have a constitutional right to raise and spend as much as they want on political ads.
Role of Super-PACs
In the case of Santorum and Gingrich, wealthy donors to their friendly super-PACS, including the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future, have helped keep them in the race when their own fundraising faltered. Restore Our Future has helped Romney by ensuring neither of those candidacies gained momentum.
The only court stipulation is that the groups can't coordinate their activities with a campaign. Candidates found a way around that hurdle by dispatching aides to operate them. Restore is run by former Romney advisers, including Charles R. Spies, who was Romney's general counsel in the 2008 Republican primary. Its board of directors includes Carl Forti, who was political director four years ago.
"The way they function is essentially a parallel presidential campaign," said Anthony Corrado, a political scientist at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. "The notion that these PACs are independent is nothing more than a legal technicality."
The pro-Romney group's leading contributor last month was Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, according to Federal Election Commission records. Perry helped fund the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads that attacked Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's Vietnam War service in the 2004 race. Restore's ads are being made by Larry McCarthy, who in 1988 produced the "Willie Horton" ad that linked a murderer to Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, a former Massachusetts governor, a smear even Republicans said was unfair.
Since Jan. 1 of last year, Restore has aired the same 16 negative ads 41,612 times in the major media markets of primary states from Michigan to Florida and Colorado, according to data provided by CMAG.
The committees backing Gingrich and Santorum ran 8,172 and 8,121 negative spots, respectively, according to data from CMAG.
Restore concentrated its firepower first on Gingrich in Florida after his Jan. 21 victory in South Carolina and then on Santorum in Ohio after his wins in Colorado and Minnesota on Feb. 7.
Convicted Felons Ad
Another commercial sponsored by Restore accuses Santorum of voting with former Senator Hillary Clinton in favor of granting voting rights to violent convicted felons. The charge that Santorum supported voting rights for convicted felons was repeated 2,671 times before the Ohio March 6 primary.
Santorum confronted Romney about the ad in a debate in South Carolina on Jan. 16, saying it gave the impression that he allowed felons currently imprisoned to vote. Santorum said he supported voting rights for people only who had served their sentences.
He also pointed out that Massachusetts gives voting rights to felons who've served their time and that Romney never tried to change it. Romney said he was dealing with a Democratic legislature and opposed voting rights for felons who are released.
Like the felons ad, the latest spot running in Wisconsin about Santorum's opposition to right-to-work laws doesn't tell the full story.
Santorum has said that when he was a senator he voted to allow states to determine their own right-to-work laws, which prohibit agreements requiring employee union membership as a condition of employment. He's also said that, as president, he would sign a national right-to-work law.
A CMAG analysis as of March 7 found one of the anti- Santorum ads, titled "Values," has aired a total of 4,650 times, making it the fourth-most-run spot of the campaign season, including those in support of President Barack Obama.
That commercial criticizes Santorum for voting to raise the nation's borrowing limit five times. Santorum did vote to raise the debt ceiling -- though he was joined by most of his Republican colleagues in granting the authority to a Republican president.
In March of 2006, he was one of 52 Republicans to do so, including Senators Jon Kyl and Mitch McConnell, now the chamber's top two Republicans, and former Senator Bill Frist, then majority leader. Only four Republicans opposed it.
In all, Restore ran 3,313 ads in the 10 days before Ohio's March 6 vote, compared to 722 by the pro-Santorum PAC. Santorum lost narrowly to Romney, by four-fifths of a percentage point.
"He did the same thing in Michigan and Mississippi and every place," said Brabender. "In Gingrich's case, he did basically knock him out of the race."
After his South Carolina win, Gingrich went into Florida's Jan. 31 race in a dead heat with Romney, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted Jan. 19 to 23. In the final days before the primary, Restore ran five different ads in the state's major media markets, every one of them attacking Gingrich and rated as negative by Kantar.
"Overnight a storm rained dollars on the television," said Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political scientist. "They had a big impact," said MacManus, who also serves as a Tampa television station analyst.
Obama Backs Super PAC
By Steven T. Dennis
Roll Call Staff
Feb. 7, 2012, 9:11 a.m.
In a switch, President Barack Obama is backing a super PAC — and directing senior government officials to appear at its fundraisers — over fears his re-election campaign could be derailed by an "avalanche" of money flowing into Republican super PACs.
Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina announced the decision in a Monday night email titled: "We will not play by two sets of rules."
"We decided to do this because we can't afford for the work you're doing in your communities, and the grass-roots donations you give to support it, to be destroyed by hundreds of millions of dollars in negative ads. It's a real risk," Messina wrote.
The effort will include appearances at fundraisers by White House officials and members of the Cabinet, although Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will not attend them, Messina said. He also said in his email that while campaign officials will attend the fundraisers, they will not be "soliciting contributions" for Priorities USA Action, the super PAC.
He noted that Romney's super PAC raised $30 million in 2011, and has used that warchest largely for attack ads.