The billionaire said to be weighing a proposal to resurrect racial politics into the 2012 campaign shelved the idea today after President Obama and Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney denounced the tactic.
An aide to Joe Ricketts, founder of Nebraska-based TD Ameritrade Securities and owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, said the proposal to draw the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the presidential campaign – and the issue of race, by extension – went too far.
The New York Times reported today that Ricketts’ Ending Spending Action Fund, a conservative super PAC, was considering a proposal for a $10 million TV ad campaign highlighting Wright’s sermons.
The blueprint, titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: the Ricketts Plan to End His Spending For Good,” was devised by a group of Republican strategists and right-wing consultants.
“Our plan is to do exactly what (2008 GOP presidential nominee) John McCain would not let us do: Show the world how Barack Obama’s opinions of America and the world were formed,” the proposal said. “And why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president’s formative years among left-wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees.”
The group suggested hiring an “extremely literate conservative African-American” spokesman who can argue that Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”
Wright became a problem for Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign when videos of the pastor’s sermons surfaced. In a 2003 sermon, Wright said black people should condemn the United States for oppressing African-Americans with drugs, prisons and three-strike laws.