Karl Rove launches aggressive fear-based smear campaign against Elizabeth Warren

Karl Rove, though his Super PAC Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS), is investing millions of dollars in television advertising in order to influence U.S. elections. The following background comes by way of the National Journal.

…The GOP-aligned super PAC Crossroads GPS is launching a wave of new television ads against three of this cycle’s most vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents and two of the party’s strongest recruits.

In total, $1.8 million dollars is being spent over two weeks on the ads, which attack Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., as well as former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine and consumer advocate and Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren.

The ads offer an early preview of the lines of attack likely to linger as the cycle progresses and are also a reminder of the significant influence super PACs and other outside groups will have on the 2012 election.

“These misleading attacks are solely designed to distract Americans from the disastrous Republican agenda that would protect special interests at the expense of middle class families,” responded Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Matt Canter.

The ads against McCaskill, Tester, Nelson and Kaine use the same formula: tie the incumbents to President Obama. While each spot is different, the message is the same: a vote for them is a vote for the president…

Of the television ads, the one against Elizabeth Warren is the most despicable.

Here it is.

The best analysis of the ad that I’ve seen thus far comes from the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent. Here’s some of what he had to say.

…As I’ve been noting here, the right has responded to the protests by exploiting a cultural fault line that’s been key to our politics since the 1960s. Conservatives have elevated the protesters’ outsized tactics and violence to push the cultural buttons of blue collar whites and independents– who will be central to the Massachusetts race– in an effort to distract them from the populist message embodied by the protests and Warren’s candidacy.

The new Crossroads ad– which is backed up by a buy of nearly $600,000– takes this to an almost comical level. It claims: “Fourteen million Americans out of work. But instead of focusing on jobs, Elizabeth Warren sides with extreme left protests.” Of course, Warren’s message, and that of the protests themselves, isall about jobs and unemployment.

This is the most transparent effort yet to use the protests’ theatrical extremes to divert the focus from their– and her– actual populist prescriptions, critique of inequality, and diagnosis of our financial crisis, which polls suggest blue collar whites actually agree with.

The ad then doubles down on this effort with an egregious distortion, claiming the protesters “support radical redistribution of wealth.” The ad’s source for that claim is that recent Doug Schoen op-ed that got so much attention for making that claim. But Schoen’s own numbers indicated that only four percent of the protesters he surveyed share that goal. The ad also falsely insinuates that Warren supports the violence we’ve seen, when she’s actually called on protesters to obey the law…

And, as corporations can contribute unlimited funds toward such endeavors, in the wake of the Citizens United ruling, you can expect to see this ad running non-stop. Assuming you’re like me, and don’t like the idea of corporations rigging elections through the repeated airing of dishonest advertisements crafted to terrify the American public, I’d encourage you to consider clicking here and making a contribution to Elizabeth Warren’s campaign. It’s going to take a hell of a lot of money to combat the lies of Rove and Crossroads, and I can guarantee you that the corporate money isn’t going to be filling her coffers. No, it’s going to be up to us to help her respond, and set the record straight.

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  1. Adam
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    The existence of this ad makes me ashamed to be an American.

  2. Edward
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The existence of Karl Rove makes me sad to be human.

  3. Megan
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I hope she stays on course like she has been. This woman rules. She has such a taste for the working class it’s fantastic. I can see her being the first female president if she wins and keeps going.

    On a side note, there’s a lot of work going on to get Citizen’s United overturned. A lot of people don’t like it.

  4. Robert
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I’m just going to repost my own comment from January 26, 2010 regarding this race:

    “The significance of this is being overplayed by both sides. The underdog party in any state has its best chances in a special election like this. That is especially true when the underdog is the GOP due to the fact that almost everywhere higher turnout benefits the Democrats.

    For one thing, money flowed in from the entire country for Brown because it was the only race in the country at the moment.

    The turnout was 54% of what it was in the 2008 general, and only about 40% of total registered voters. In that perfect environment for the GOP, they got 51.9% of the vote – not a terribly huge margin. It couldn’t be repeated under even slightly less favorable circumstances.

    The Democrats’ loss of the Governor’s race in New Jersey back in November was a more significant upset statistically.

    Of course the GOP and the Tea Party are going to get as much PR from this Brown win as they can. Likewise, the Democrats are going to try to use it as a “wake-up” call to their base of Obama supporters. Therefore, everybody has an interest in exaggerating the significance of Brown’s win.

    Here’s my prediction; No matter what happens, that seat will be held by a Democrat by 1/4/2013. Either Brown will switch parties or he’ll be beat in the 2012 general…even if Obama loses his bid for a second term in the same vote.

    I’ll take bets on that one if anybody’s interested.”

  5. Robert
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    This lame smear campaign is going to backfire. I will bet the polls will soon reflect this. Karl Rove is somewhat impotent without his organized criminal masters always there backing him up. The voters of Massachusetts are a bit more sophisticated than the usual moron demographic Rove is used to manipulating. I’m glad he’s trying though; it’s going to fuck up Brown even more than he was already. I hope the GOP pours tens of millions into this lost cause. That’s millions less they’ll have for winnable races.

  6. Thom Elliott
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    “We need jobs, not intellectual theories” that’s right, we don’t need to think; we just need to work, that’s all we are, the being who works. A nation of workaholics on a planet shaped gas station without awareness of our mortality, constantly keeping your mind on yr money and yr money on yr mind. We are a stockpile of human resources to be utilized for the purposes of manufactor, and nothing besides, why think about existence? Who needs intellectual theories when you have work, football, fried flesh, and jesus? Don’t think about how depraved tycoons are cynically holding the country hostage so they can maintain their bellicose and grotesque lifestyles, don’t protest our corperate overlords, just work; that’s all you are, you pig.

  7. Mr. X
    Posted November 11, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Despite the efforts of people like Rove, Occupy Wall Street continues to poll well among voters. I agree with Robert when he says that this video won’t play in Mass. It may, however, encourage money to flow back to Rove and Brown from other states, which might be the intention. Their campaign against Warren, if you think about it, may not be about her race at all. This may be about the Presidential election, and all the rest.

  8. Josh
    Posted November 12, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    if you’re going to use type in an ad like this, at least make the baselines line up. i mean jesus.

  9. TaterSalad
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Elizabeth Warren is clueless, something like her ex-boss, Barack Obama:


  10. Anonymoous Mike
    Posted November 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Tater, you’d better be careful.


  11. K2
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Rove lost his cool yesterday while speaking at Johns Hopkins. When protesters shouted him down mic check style, he yelled back, “Who gave you there right to occupy America?”


  12. Meta
    Posted December 14, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Crossroads has a new Warren attack ad out. Now they’re claiming that she was behind the big bank bailout, and continues to be cozy with Wall Street.


  13. anymous
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    There’s a “money bomb” for Warren today.

    Open up your billfolds, America.


2 Trackbacks

  1. […] understand from sources (i.e., the Contrarian) that certain of Turd Blossoms ads put forth by his Super Slush Fund, the American Crossroads, have been turned down by a few stations in three states. Turns out they […]

  2. By Elizabeth Warren fires back with the truth on November 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    […] good thing came of the despicable, lie-filled television ad that Karl Rove’s organization, Crossroads GPS, launched against Elizabeth Warren last week […]

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