Federal Politics

Published — November 2, 2012 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Daily Disclosure: Conservative outside ads spin Obama’s Sandy response

Reaction to Libyan attack panned

Introduction

With President Barack Obama earning high marks on his response to Hurricane Sandy, conservative outside spending groups and Republicans are seeking to contrast it with charges that he dropped the ball in Benghazi.

Americans for Limited Government’s “Obama Campaign Has Its ‘Perfect Storm’” and Campaign for American Values PAC’s “Obama Has Left Americans Behind” follow the line of attack launched by Michael Brown, the director of FEMA under George W. Bush, who was widely criticized for botching the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

While the new ads do not go quite as far as Brown, who charged the president with acting too quickly on the response to Sandy, they do capitalize on his juxtaposition of the president’s response to Sandy and his response to the terrorist attack on the American consulate in Libya.

Obama was “openly working with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during hurricane recovery,” the ALG ad begins. Christie, a Republican with presidential aspirations, heaped praise on the president for his response, which was seen as a hit to GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

“Obama didn’t react to terrorist attacks in Libya the same way he reacted to Sandy,” cursive text on the screen continues. “The Obama admin. [sic] tried to blame the attack on a movie released on YouTube. Maybe they can try to blame Hurricane Sandy on one of those Al Gore movies.”

A movie poster from “The Day After Tomorrow,” a high-budget, special-effects driven disaster film from 2004, is shown in the background.

The ad from Campaign for American Values PAC, headed by conservative evangelical activist Gary Bauer, shows a clip of Obama speaking after the hurricane saying, “We pull together and we leave nobody behind.”

“Sadly, Mr. President,” the narrator says, “Your administration did leave somebody behind.”

The ad flashes photos of the four Americans killed in the Benghazi attacks, who reportedly had requested and were denied additional security in the days before the attack.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he did not have adequate information to “put forces at risk in that situation.”

While conservatives are using Hurricane Sandy to criticize Obama’s response to past disasters, Democrats are using it to criticize Romney for past statements about wanting to eliminate the federal disaster response agency.

In the wake of Sandy, Romney released a statement changing his tune. He said that as president, he would “ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission,” though he reiterated his intent to direct “maximum resources” to state and local first responders.

Americans for Limited Government, a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organization that functions like a super PAC but is not required to disclose its donors, has not reported any campaign spending to the Federal Election Commission, though it has produced at least a dozen online videos opposing Obama and other Democrats.

The Campaign for American Values PAC, a super PAC, has reported spending $575,000 opposing Obama and supporting Romney. Its biggest donor is Texas-based “Corporate Land Management,” which contributed $600,000. Mother Jones traced the generically named corporation to Tim Horner, the president of a jewelry company that advocates Christian values.

In other outside spending news:

  • Fair Share Action, a liberal super PAC, reported spending $714,000 supporting Obama, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Rep. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who is running for U.S. Senate. The super PAC is funded by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Environment America. It also in-kind from its non-disclosing sister nonprofit, Fair Share Alliance and has received nearly a half-million from millionaire software entrepreneur Tim Gill and his LGBT advocacy group, Gill Action Fund.
  • Conservative nonprofit Americans for Job Security reported spending $2.5 million opposing Obama.
  • The conservative Now or Never super PAC reported spending $1.8 million supporting Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, and opposing Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota and Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.
  • Crossroads GPS, a conservative nonprofit, reported spending $1.6 million supporting Romney and opposing Heitkamp and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in the state. It released “Walk Away,” a Spanish-language ad opposing Obama.
  • Its sister super PAC American Crossroads released “Debate” and “China” opposing Obama.
  • Independence USA PAC, the bipartisan super PAC of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reported spending $1.3 million supporting Connecticut state Sen. Andrew Roraback, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in the state’s 5th District, as well as in support of Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill. It also paid for direct mail ads opposing Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., and Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif.
  • Pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future reported spending $1 million on ads opposing Obama and supporting Romney.
  • Ending Spending, a conservative nonprofit funded and run by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, released “Past Due” opposing Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., who is running for U.S. Senate. Its sister super PAC, Ending Spending Action Fund, reported spending $920,000.
  • Let Freedom Ring and the Hispanic Leadership Fund co-produced “Eduardo” in opposition to Obama. Let Freedom Ring also released “Things Have Been Looking Up.”

Who paid for that political ad? You might be surprised by the answer. Email us and we will try to find out. Describe the advertisement — was it mean or nice? Will it affect your vote? When and where did it run and what were the names of the candidates? And PLEASE tell us what the disclaimer at the end says, and we will check it out.

Read more in Federal Politics

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
Guest
CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
Guest
George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
Guest
j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
Guest
jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
Guest
thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Martin Shellabarger
Guest

J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
Guest

hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
Guest
Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
Guest
Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
Guest
South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
Guest
David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.