A racially-charged attack ad targeting President Obama’s affiliation with controversial Chicago preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright has been scrapped after details of the spot were reported by The New York Times and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney denounced it.
“I hope campaigns can be about the future and issues,” Romney said at a campaign stop in Jacksonville, Fla. according to reports.
The proposal, called the “Ricketts Plan,” was named after conservative billionaire, TD Ameritrade founder, and a member of the ownership group of the Chicago Cub baseball team, Joe Ricketts. The plan was scheduled to debut in Charlotte during the Democratic National Convention, when a series of one-minute ads were to direct viewers to a five-minute movie on the group’s website.
“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way. He will draw the attention,” the ad stated. “He is truly the elephant in the room.”
The proposal continued with more personal attacks and name calling of the President.
“The metrosexual Black Abe Lincoln has emerged as a hyper-partisan, hyper-liberal, elitist politician with more than a bit of the trimmer in him,” the ad said.
Both Republican and Democratic strategists have warned against attack ads, saying a negative and personal approach could backfire in a huge way.
“I don’t think professional operatives who have a reputation, who’ve been in politics for a long time, would engage in anything that would do themselves reputational damage,” GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak told NPR. “The Jeremiah Wright thing, particularly in light of the, I think, of the response that the effort’s gotten, would lead me to think that they might want to think twice about it.”
Meanwhile the Obama campaign said the proposal showed just how dirty conservatives were willing to get their hands to defeat Obama.
“This morning’s story revealed the appalling lengths to which Republican operatives and super PACs apparently are willing to go to tear down the president and elect Mitt Romney,” Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told Fox News. “The blueprint for a hate-filled, divisive campaign of character assassination speaks for itself.”