The White House intensified its attacks Sunday on the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its alleged ties to foreign donors, part of an escalating Democratic effort to link Republican allies with corporate and overseas interests ahead of the November midterm elections.
The chamber adamantly denies that foreign funds are used in its U.S. election efforts, accusing Democrats of orchestrating a speculative smear campaign during a desperate political year.
President Obama, speaking at a rally in Philadelphia, said “the American people deserve to know who is trying to sway their elections” and raised the possibility that foreigners could be funding his opponents.
“You don’t know,” Obama said at the rally for Senate candidate Joe Sestak and other Democrats. “It could be the oil industry. It could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose.”
The remarks are part of a volley of recent attacks by Obama and other Democrats on alleged foreign influence within the Republican caucus, whether through support for outsourcing jobs by major U.S. corporations or through overseas money making its way into the coffers of GOP-leaning interest groups.
The Democratic National Committee began airing ads over the weekend attacking the chamber as “shills for big business” and claiming: “It appears they’ve even taken foreign money to spend on our elections.” The ad also attacks Karl Rove, former Bush administration political adviser, and Ed Gillespie, former Republican National Committee chief, for their ties to American Crossroads, an independent group also spending big on election ads this year.
“Tell the Bush crowd and the Chamber of Commerce: Stop stealing our democracy,” the ad says.
It may be a little petty and pedestrian of me, but I find it amazing that the same group of people who offered unequivocal support to voter fraud and voter intimidation specialists like ACORN and the New Black Panthers have the temerity to accuse Republicans of trying to “sway” elections through trumped-up foreign connections. Plus, as Michelle Malkin pointed out, whenever Republicans question Democrats’ propensity for finding plenty of foreign cash for elections, the Democrats dutifully let loose with cries of racism and nativism.
Furthermore, I find it interesting that they lambaste the GOP for its “support for outsourcing jobs by major U.S. corporations” when, looked at on a systemic level, it is the policies of the American left in Washington which drives jobs and business and growth and prosperity overseas in the first place.
As far as the president’s argument goes substantively, Malkin does a nice job breaking down the fact that even the most Obama-friendly media outlets have said that the White House’s argument against the Chamber is much ado about nothing. The New York Times, Malkin pointed out, held last week that “there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents,” and CBS News’ Bob Schieffer characterized the argument as “peanuts.”
Nevertheless, we’re less than a month away from the mid-term elections, and Barack Obama was speaking in Philadelphia, where business growth and job growth and overall prosperity has recently become taboo — so what did you expect?