They’re really going all out, huh? Let’s start with Axelrod, just because Tapper ingeniously managed to turn Chamber-gate into a question about … Obama’s birth certificate. If we can’t trust that the Chamber’s telling the truth about its donors until we see all the documents, he wonders, why should we trust The One until we see his long-form BC?
TAPPER: But you’re asking the Chamber to prove a negative. “Prove that you’re not doing such and such accusation.”
AXELROD: It’s not proving a negative, Jake, because all you have to do to clear up the questions is reveal who your donors are from. The question back to them is why don’t they want to reveal where their money is coming from? I think the answer is, I think if the American people knew where their money was coming from they’d be a lot less apt to listen to the advertising, to read the mail, to respond to the kind of negative campaigns that the Chamber and some of these other organizations are underwriting…
TAPPER: Isn’t that like the whackjobs that tell the president he needs to show them his full long-form birth certificate so he can put to rest the questions that have been raised?
AXELROD: The president’s birth certificate has been available to people.
TAPPER: The long form?
AXELROD: Someone once in the course of this debate about whether we should have a law to force these organizations to disclose where they’re money is coming from in the campaigns, someone said, and I think they’re right – “the only people who want to keep things secret are folks who have something to hide.” If the Chamber doesn’t have anything to hide about these contributions, and I take them at their word that they don’t, then why not disclose? Why not let people see where their money is coming from?
Can’t tell if that was a phone interview or in-person; if the latter, they must — must — post video so we can see the look on Axelrod’s face. Meanwhile, here’s the vice president of the United States in Scranton today embarrassing himself yet again:
Biden pinned the blame on the US Chamber of Commerce and “Karl Rove and his friends,” and said that the Republican strategist has a “stable of billionaires, literally, and millionaires,” pouring money into congressional campaigns.
The vice president challenged Rove and the Chamber to “tell us how much of the money they’re investing is from foreign sources.”
“I challenge them, if I’m wrong I will stand corrected,” he said. “But show me, show me. Folks they’re trying to buy this election to go back to exactly what they did before.”
If you care enough to watch Tim Kaine repeat this charge too, RCP has the video. Two things here, just to follow up on Ed’s post from this morning. One: I’m amused that this attack line about foreign money and the Chamber took off on the lefty site Think Progress, as it’s a nifty counterpoint to the endless liberal whining whenever the White House jumps at a story being pushed by the “right-wing noise machine,” a.k.a. Fox News and talk radio. As Ed noted this morning, the charge in this case is so egregiously unfair that even the NYT felt obliged to debunk it in the heat of campaign season — and yet everyone from Obama to his VP to his senior advisor to the head of the DNC is biting down on it like it’s a new chew toy. That’s curious behavior given the White House’s much-chronicled antipathy to the “professional left” and liberal bloggers, no? Why so interested in what Think Progress is obsessing about lately, guys?
Two: Why are they investing so heavily in this dopey attack? Like Ed said this morning, it’s already started to backfire, much as the White House’s relentless demagoguery of Fox News eventually fizzled when the rest of the press corps simply could stand no more of it. If Tapper’s rhetorical slap in the face by asking about the birth certificate isn’t enough of a wake-up call for Axe, click the image below and you’ll find CNBC reminding its viewers that Democrats have actually received more foreign-related PAC money than Republicans have. Voters are overwhelmingly on their side when it comes to corporate spending on political ads, but that’s not a catalyzing issue for people at this point, needless to say. If you charted the top 15 public policy priorities right now, I doubt this would crack the bottom of the list. As such, complaining about it relentlessly makes them look — dare I say it? — out of touch. Maybe we should be encouraging them.