Republicans Anxiously Discourage Racially-Charged Super PAC Strategy

Source: Michael O’Brien / MSNBC

Republicans moved quickly on Thursday in hopes of distancing themselves from a strategy being weighed by a GOP-oriented super PAC, which threatened to inject racial politics into the 2012 presidential campaign.

Mitt Romney’s campaign, joined by a slew of other GOP heavyweights, sought to disavow a strategy that was presented to Joe Ricketts — the owner of the Chicago Cubs — that would call for using a super PAC to launch aggressive attack ads against President Barack Obama. The plan, first reported by the New York Times, called for explicitly linking Obama to a former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose occasionally angry sermons touched on themes of race.

“I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they’ve described,” Romney told the conservative blog Townhall.

An earlier statement by Matt Rhoades, Romney’s campaign manager, said the campaign would repudiate strategies that rely on personal attacks, though Rhoades made no specific reference toward Ricketts. During a gaggle this morning aboard his campaign plane, Romney told reporters that he hadn’t seen the story.

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