The final weekend of the 2012 presidential campaign seems like as good a time as any to note that neither the Romney campaign nor its affiliates (unless you count Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, with its stillborn scoop on Obama’s 2007 Hampton University speech, as an affiliate) played the Jeremiah Wright Card.
Recall, back in May, the New York Times report that GOP strategists were kicking around the idea of having billionaire Joe Ricketts underwrite a $10 million advertising campaign linking Obama anew to the controversial Rev. Wright. These strategists, according to the Times, sought to “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do: Show the world how Barack Obama’s opinions of America and the world were formed. And why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president’s formative years among left-wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees.”
In an interview with TownHall.com’s Guy Benson, Romney personally distanced himself from the proposed effort (over which he would have had no control, at least officially), and compared it to the Bain Capital attack ads aired by an Obama-affiliated SuperPac:
I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they’ve described. I think what we’ve seen so far from the Obama campaign is a campaign of character assassination. I hope that isn’t the course of this campaign. So in regards to that PAC, I repudiate what they’re thinking about.
It may seem trivial at this point. If Romney is elected, the decision not to “go there” will have been borne out: Team Romney wisely spikes unnecessary provocation early in the game. But if he loses, there will no doubt be a segment of the right that will gnash its teeth for the next four years over the fact that Obama was elected — twice! — without having been fully vetted. Ricketts and his ilk believe America would not have elected Obama the first time if McCain had gone the “full Jeremiah.” To decline to do so again — a bitter pill to swallow for them indeed.