In a new sharp-tongued tactic from the Democrats, the Democratic National Committee has launched a salvo against the largely Republican US Chamber of Commerce, accusing the organization of taking foreign money to influence US politics.
Titled "Stealing Democracy," the ad cites major Bush-era figures, including former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.
"Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie: They're Bush cronies. The US Chamber of Commerce: They're shills for big business," the ad's announcer remarks. "And they're stealing our democracy. Spending Millions from secret donors to elect Republicans to do their bidding in Congress. It appears they're even taking secret foreign money to influence our elections. It's incredible, Republicans benefiting from secret foreign money. Tell the Bush Crowd and the Chamber of Commerce - stop stealing our democracy."
Huffington Post's Sam Stein notes that the spot appears timed to attack Rove and Gillespie's planned appearances on Sunday talk shows. He maintains, however, that the accusations are of questionable veracity.
The spot, timed to preempt Rove and Gillespie's appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit, echoes what has quickly and clearly become the closing argument Democrats (from the White House on down) are making as the election nears. But it comes at a time of conflicting reports over the veracity of the charges. On Saturday the New York Times published a story questioning a basis of the report uncovering the Chamber's foreign pools of cash. Specifically, the story quoted White House counsel Bob Bauer acknowledging that there was no specific evidence that the Chamber had crossed legal lines by using foreign money for its electioneering.
"The DNC ad is rubbish," said Tom Collamore, senior vice president of Communications and Strategy for the U.S. Chamber. "The U.S. Chamber will continue to discuss ways to create jobs and grow the economy no matter how often others may try to change the conversation. We've been working for growth, jobs, and opportunity for 100 years and we won't be deterred now."
The spot appears below.