Following reports that Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson has given $5 million to a SuperPAC supporting Newt Gingrich, Gingrich Campaign Chairman, Bob Walker appeared on Foxnews where he laughed it off saying that his campaign knows nothing about it other than what’s being reported in the news.
He also brushes off reports that the Gingrich campaign doesn’t have the money to compete with Mitt Romney in South Carolina, noting that the campaign has raised as much as $10 Million in the last quarter.
Jazz Shaw over at Hot Air raises an interesting point:
Some of Newt’s previous comments may come back to haunt him here. He has come out and, at a minimum, at least heavily implied that Romney was in some way involved in his Super PAC’s products, since it’s run by friends and former staffers. Romney, of course, insists that it would be illegal to do so and he “hasn’t even seen” some of the clips.
Now, if others follow Adelson’s lead, a Gingrich Super PAC is going to have to do something with all of that money, and it’s probably going to go into major media buys in South Carolina and Florida hammering Romney as hard as they possibly can. He’ll also realize – assuming he somehow doesn’t know it already – that he really can’t control what the PACs do. If some of the ads are really nasty, will he rush out to disavow his own PAC supporters and call for their ads to come down?
From own experience, Shaw gives credence to the argument that campaigns really do not know what supporting SuperPAC’s are up to:
I’ve only had one direct experience involving a Super PAC, and that one was Karl Rove’s outfit, American Crossroads. They jumped in to our congressional race in 2010 during the final two months and unleashed a major set of ad buys across the district… …We read about it in the Wall Street Journal the same day everyone else found out. A reporter in our district knew about it before I did and I was the Director of Communications. Nobody from American Crossroads every contacted us and we never saw the ads until they showed up on TV. Why? I’m guessing because nobody wanted to go to jail.