President George W. Bush’s former adviser Karl Rove says that using Rev. Jeremiah Wright to attack President Barack Obama is a “stupid” idea.
The New York Times revealed last week that a super PAC supporting presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was considering an ad campaign linking Obama to Wright. Their proposal goes so far as to propose possible responses to charges of race-baiting if ads were to mention Wright’s “black liberation theology.”
“Speaking from the position of a super PAC, you want to do things that will be helpful to the candidate and not things that will be hurtful,” Rove told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday. “And frankly, trying to dredge up Jeremiah Wright — right or wrong — after this issue was litigated four years ago by [former Republican presidential nominee] John McCain deciding not to litigate it was stupid.”
“So, you want to try and do things that are helpful, not hurtful. And look, I thought it was very smart for the Romney campaign to immediately go out an denounce the tactic. It certainly sent a message to everybody in America what they wanted the campaign to be about. And it certainly sent a message to people involved in the super PACs, don’t be doing stupid things like this.”
After learning of the plan to use Obama’s former association with Wright, Romney told supporters that he repudiated the effort.
“I think it’s the wrong course for a PAC or a campaign,” the candidate said. “I hope that our campaigns can be respectively about the future and about issues and about vision for America.”
But on Sunday, Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said Romney had only “tepidly and reluctantly” condemned the super PAC’s proposed ad campaign.
“We have said [that Romney's faith is] not fair game,” Axelrod told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “And we wish Governor Romney would stand up as resolutely and consistently, to refute these kinds of things on his side.”
Crossroads GPS — a pro-Romney super PAC created by Rove — last week launched a $25 million ad blitz accusing the president of breaking promises.
Watch this video from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast May 20, 2012.