Ameritrade Founder and Chicago Cubs Owner Ricketts Quickly Distances Himself from Anti-Obama Proposal

May 17, 2012
6:05 pm

Looks like certain Republican strategists were ready to run the campaign that they weren't allowed to run against Barack Obama in 2008. The New York Times today broke a story that presented a scenario where a GOP Super PAC would have gone after President Obama for his past associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Such a strategy didn't work in 2008, but it looks now that the Super PAC wanted to try it once again, painting a picture that borders of tired racial overtones and guilt by association. Yes, this campaign is going to get ugly.

The strategy document, which according to the Times was managed by Joe Davis and funded by Ameritrade billionaire founder and Chicago Cubs onwer Joe Ricketts, offers a very detailed look into the world of campaign politics. The full page-by-page document can be seen below in our Storify. Here is a bit of what the Times reported today:

The $10 million plan, one of several being studied by Mr. Ricketts, includes preparations for how to respond to the charges of race-baiting it envisions if it highlights Mr. Obama’s former ties to Mr. Wright, who espouses what is known as “black liberation theology.”

The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”

A copy of a detailed advertising plan was obtained by The New York Times through a person not connected to the proposal who was alarmed by its tone. It is titled “The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good.”

The proposal was presented last week in Chicago to associates and family members of Mr. Ricketts, who is also the patriarch of the family that owns the Chicago Cubs.

In the meantime, CNN is reporting that the following document has sparked such a negative reaction that denials are flying all over the place now:

Brian Baker, who heads the conservative super PAC supported by Ricketts, said Ricketts would not approve the scheme, as it "reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects."

"Mr. Ricketts intends to work hard to help elect a president this fall who shares his commitment to economic responsibility, but his efforts are and will continue to be focused entirely on questions of fiscal policy, not attacks that seek to divide us socially or culturally," Baker said in a written statement.

And when asked about the proposal, Mitt Romney was quick to condemn it, according to the Times:

“I repudiate that effort,” Mr. Romney told reporters at an impromptu news conference Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla. “I think it’s the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign.”

Still, someone developed this strategy for Ricketts, and it just goes to show had sad this country has become in the interest on winning an election. In the meantime, Ricketts has some more explaining to do.