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Conservative Group Hammers Obama on AIG

American Issues Project, a conservative-aligned outside group, plans to spend more than $500,000 on ads that slam President Barack Obama and his Administration over the bonuses being paid out to AIG executives.

"The Obama Administration says it's shocked, shocked to learn AIG passed out $165 million in bonuses," says the commercial's narrator. "But who wrote the law protecting these bonuses? Obama's own Treasury Department."

The ad goes on to feature the contributions from AIG received by Obama and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd (D) while the narrator intones: "They take huge contributions...and give AIG billions back. Is this change you can believe in?"

The ad, which was produced by Republican media consultant Larry McCarthy, begins on national cable stations tomorrow and is the second major effort so far this year by American Issues Project. Last month, AIP launched a controversial ad that referenced the birth of Jesus to highlight the spending being done by the Democratic-controlled Congress.

"AIP will continue to call the Administration and liberals in Congress out when they proclaim 'ignorance' to specifics in legislation they wrote -- and they passed," said Ed Martin, the group's president. "This is their bill -- and their bonuses."

AIP was expected to be a major outside player in the 2008 presidential race but struggled to line up the necessary funding from affluent individuals to play much of a role. The one ad they did run generated significant controversy as it sought to tie Obama to William Ayers -- asking viewers "beyond the speeches how much do you really know about Barack Obama?".

The AIP ad hits the airwaves on the same day President Obama is scheduled to hold a primetime news conference as part of a media blitz designed to quell anger about the AIG bonuses and begin the process of selling his budget blueprint to a (somewhat) skeptical Congress.

It also marks the second time that Republicans -- or Republican-aligned groups -- have used the AIG issue in ads knocking Democrats. Last week, New York state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R) launched a commercial seeking to tie businessman Scott Murphy's (D) support for the economic stimulus package to the AIG bonuses. Tedisco and Murphy face off on March 31 in a special election to fill New York's 20th district.

Republicans clearly believe that the AIG furor represents the first major chink in President Obama's political armor and are moving to exploit it. Obama -- as well as Congressional Democrats -- must find a way top defuse the populist foment stirred up by AIG and quickly pivot to their solutions for solving the economic mess.

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 23, 2009; 5:36 PM ET
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Comments

Why don't you talk about how the GOP is about to start a civil war among themselves, CC?

"Watching the various spats among conservatives, it’s difficult to tell whether one is witnessing a series of lively political disagreements or an episode of “Monday Night Raw.”

In one corner, there’s former Bush administration speechwriter David Frum versus talk radio king Rush Limbaugh. In another ring, Limbaugh is taking on former House speaker-turned-conservative guru Newt Gingrich. And in the Royal Rumble, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is battling, well, pretty much everybody in the GOP. "

Posted by: drindl | March 24, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Two things the wingnuts apparently haven't considered:

1. Republicans don't do "populism" very well. The ad looks like the Ayers "guilt by association" schpiel all over again.

2. Populist Outrage has a short shelf-life; by the time the ads hit the airwaves most people will have moved on.

Posted by: jp1954 | March 24, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

IN the congressional hearings on the economy one of the Republican Congressmen took advantage of his five minutes of fame by commenting, "If you like the way the government has managed AIG you are going to love National Health Care. How about this: If you like the military you are going to love National Health Care..............


http://thefiresidepost.com/2009/03/24/if-you-like-the-pentagon-you-will-really-love-national-health-care/

Posted by: glclark4750 | March 24, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The handling of AIG is probably a bipartisan mess..I wouldn't touch this caliente' 'tater no matter what my politics.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 24, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Andre, it's stupid of you to trash Chris for showing us what the GOP is saying about Obama. It's stupid to kill the messenger.

Posted by: Smooth_Jazz | March 24, 2009 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Just saw on another page "New and improved Fix",
More like digested and regurgitated. You're asking for comments on how to improve "The Fix" Start by firing that Idiot Chris or just kill the page all together. Although the thought of knowing where all the GOP Dumb A**'s are keeps me from having to search for them.

Posted by: andre4 | March 23, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Special for:

Miss_Hogynist @ 10:15 p.m. (is that on TOP of the earlier "money launderer" libel? If so, thanks for the legal ammo.)

***

TO: All intel analysts/agents/operatives [EYES ONLY]

RE: "Target" surveillance/profiling


For cautionary example of what unrepentant dissidents term "lame psy ops," you are directed to recent entries in "comments" section of internet "blog" "articles" linked below.

When analyzing said humint responses to "target" postings, reference this exigent statement of inquiry:

Is this statecraft?


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network--terrorizes-america
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | March 23, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is so desperate to get attention, they are willing to allow this group to go out and make hay. No need - most of the American people already know that their party (1) have no leaders to speak of, ( unless you count Palin, Rush, Joe Plummer, Steele, Boehner, and Cantor, and they don't count); (2) have no message except "no" - which frankly is getting a little tedious; (3) has no economic plan, and no one capable of creating one; and (4) just keeps repeating themselves, so if you've heard the "no" once, no need to hear it again. Chris, tell to save their money.

Posted by: jbleenyc | March 23, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

This is all you ever hear from the GOP Ditto heads;


"BOOOOOOGAAA BOOOOOOGAAA, BOOOOOOGAAA.... Yall Gonna DIE !"

Posted by: andre4 | March 23, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

More of the same from Limbag Republicans who, for lack of any proof they did anything positive over the last 8 years, can only go negative. Let's hope this continues to work as well for them as it did in the last election.

Posted by: coloradodog | March 23, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

More of the same from Limbag Republicans who, for lack of any proof they did anything positive over the last 8 years, can only go negative. Let's hope this continues to work as well for them as it did in the last election.

Posted by: coloradodog | March 23, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, Scrivener50, living proof that psychopharmacology as an overall strategy for dealing with the manifestly insane doesn't work.

Whether it's because the medications don't work or because the patients don't comply with the regimen I can't say.

Fortunately, I've been hiding in my orgone box and wearing my tinfoil hat since that linberger cheese guy became head of the GOP, so I clearly am unaffected by these nefarious beams.

Posted by: Miss_Hogynist | March 23, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Yawwwwwwwwwwwn ...

Keeping spending money, GOP!

The less dough you'll have for 2010!

Posted by: JC505 | March 23, 2009 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Obama's fallible on AIG. Moreover, there's one party in the USA which has no standing to criticize him on that issue.

I'll give you three guesses as to the identity of that party, and the first two don't count.

Posted by: Miss_Hogynist | March 23, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse


ARE HIGH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN THE BEAM PATH OF MICROWAVE RADIATION...

...CAUSING ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS?


ATTENTION: Rahm Emanuel, WH Chief of Staff; David Axelrod, senior advisor (please forward)


It is a known scientific fact that radiation emanating from electromagnetic fields (or electromagnetic radiation-emitting devices) can cause headaches, mood and behavioral changes, even adverse physical effects such as the induction of injury or illness.

Is it possible that high-tech communications (or security protection) devices or weaponry in the vicinity of POTUS and/or other high officials of government are causing physiological effects that could be affecting their sense of well-being -- perhaps even endangering their health?

Given the advanced state of White House telecommunications and security technology, President Obama and his key staff should commission an independent scientific field study to assess the presence and potential health hazards of both prolonged and pulsed-beam microwave radiation in and around the environment of high government officials.


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted or disabled):

http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 23, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Gee that's news Chris. With so many people out of work because of your heroes failures the last 8 years. You would think you could at least work for a living or even better, give your job to some one who needs it. I am positive they would earn it.

Posted by: dorklord | March 23, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from right wing born again idiots, praise? After all, his job right now is undoing all the moronic things that were implemented under their hero, Bush.

Posted by: abigsam | March 23, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I was delighted to learn that the Republicans are spending their money to support the economy! Hurrah for Republicans!

Posted by: dandb3 | March 23, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Can the republican party even do anything constructive anymore? There's Americans then there's the religious right, which, if you ask me do not even follow the laws of God themselves. Is this the only thing left of the dwindling party? Creating phony outrage, telling half truths and lies to see if it might stick and have traction. The American people are fed up with this republican crap. These adds are almost comical, like watching Saturday Night Live. Give it a rest republicans.

Posted by: kubrickstan | March 23, 2009 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the DOW jump about 500 points today?! The story is dead. This just looks like political opportunism at the worst possible time. Keep it up Republicans - you're doing the job for us!

Posted by: DinahS | March 23, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Let the conservatives spend their money on ads slamming Obama. It got them a long way during the recetn campaign. I will look at the ads to see if they propose any solutions.

Posted by: EarlC | March 23, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

They should see the new USA Today Gallup poll where Americans don't blame Obama for AIG. And they don't blame Geithner either. In fact they blame Congress more than both

Posted by: Tully88 | March 23, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Since the AIG flap hit the news, Obama's poll numbers in the Gallup tracker have gone UP. The public may be angry about AIG. But they don't blame Obama for it. And a bunch of ads by a sore loser right wing outfit isn't likely to change that.

Posted by: ElrodinTN | March 23, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I think they should find out what the political leanings of those taking the bonuses are. I'm almost willing to bet they're overwhelmingly republican.

Funny how that works.

Posted by: mikem1 | March 23, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

by the way, i'm pulling 4 u to become a paid contributor to MSNBC. U and Fineman are my favs.

Posted by: twshen5 | March 23, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

chris, didn't this group see the latest USA/Gallup poll on who's 2 blame for AIG? If I remember correctly, the biggest culprits was AIG (40%), followed by congress, then Geithner (8%) and Obama (7%)

With the news that 9/10 and 15/20 of the biggest bonus recipients have returned the bonus, I think this story is dead as a political liability for Obama.

Posted by: twshen5 | March 23, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

ah, Chris, the PR hack for the extreme Right, sweetlucy is right, and that link she mentions is a FOX News scoop that they later downplayed; c'mon, Chris, be a reporter and show both sides, just once, surprise us!

Posted by: spenceradams | March 23, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

It would also be nice if we would point out that the AIG bonuses were part of the original plan that was drawn up in Sept. by Bush, Paulson and Bernanke. Guess, that would be too much like work huh??

"did not make clear that it was President Bush's administration that negotiated a November 25, 2008, stock purchase agreement with AIG through which the Bush Treasury Department injected the $40 billion into the company without requiring that the bonus contracts, which AIG had signed with employees, be nullified."

From:
http://mediamatters.org/items/200903230028?f=h_latest

Posted by: sweetlucy47 | March 23, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

The Obama bashing is well deserved - he sstoked our ire at AIG bonuses and now is doing a major flip flop.

It is unacceptable behavior and very poor leadership from a President.

BOO AIG and BOO OBAMA!

Posted by: mgd1 | March 23, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest. No matter what approach Obama takes, this group and the rest of the GOP would attack it. Their whole program is negativity. No solutions, just negativity.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | March 23, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Why do Republicans hate America so much?

Posted by: walker1 | March 23, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

wagonjak1 - Next time, read the article before bothering to comment on it. Or, perhaps, read the Fix occasionally and realize that it's range of articles, not a specific one that makes the Fix a must read.

Fortunately, typists from either side of the aisle can and will be ignored,.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 23, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

wagonjak1 - Next time, read the article before bothering to comment on it. Or, perhaps, read the Fix occasionally and realize that it's range of articles, not a specific one that makes the Fix a must read.

Fortunately, typists from either side of the aisle can and will be ignored,.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 23, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Amazing in that the AIG bailout was a part of TARP 1. The bonuses causing the outrage were fought for by the Bush admin. and were discussed openly with the House Ways and Means committee prior to Obama taking office.

and somehow this is Obama's fault?, that a previous admin. set it up so the government could be sued if they tried to stop them?

That is why the bonuses had to be paid.

Posted by: JRM2 | March 23, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Conservative groups" are the criminals in this matter.

conservative groups are morally bankrupt, ethically bankrupt, and their ideas violate the constitution.

Seeing as every single white collar crime, every goivernment crime, and government act of malfeasance, every international law that was broken, all the broken treaties, and all of the treasonous criminal activy of the last decade were commited by individuals tied to conservative groups, I reallly don't care about their rants, complaints, comments, or appearances on the Rush Limbaugh show.

Consaervative groups = HYPOCRISY

Posted by: onestring | March 23, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post.

You did mention the reprehensible Ayers ads, but you didn't mention this groups connection and support for the Swift Boat Vets ads against Kerry in 2004. And that there are claims that AIP is engaging in illegal political activities that a 501 organization may not engage in.

Why any responsible reporter passes on the talking points from this group is really beyond me...

Posted by: wagonjak1 | March 23, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for spreading right wing talking points Chris...

It's smirking tools like you that legitimize these right-wing smears on Obama and his administration and help spread them through the DC twitter box.

Maybe you could actually give us an informed opinion on these hit pieces...or would that disappoint your masters at WaPo?

Real reporters report REAL NEWS and don't just dutifully pass on right wing hack jobs.

Posted by: wagonjak1 | March 23, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for spreading right wing talking points Chris...

It's smirking tools like you that legitimize these right-wing smears on Obama and his administration and help spread them through the DC twitter box.

Maybe you could actually give us an informed opinion on these hit pieces...or would that disappoint your masters at WaPo?

Real reporters report REAL NEWS and don't just dutifully pass on right wing hack jobs.

Posted by: wagonjak1 | March 23, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Ah, now I see where JakeD got his latest talking points. What a bunch of ankle-biters.

By the way, contributions from AIG employees to Obama were much less than Bush received in 2004 and total 0.013% of Obama's fundraising total. So that wee little annoying dog won't hunt. Or if it does, it's like as not to turn around and nip its master.

Posted by: nodebris | March 23, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Can we change the name of the FIX to, TRACKING THE POSSIBLE 10 YEAR CYCLE WHERE GOP IS BACK IN POWER.

Then he can start over in 2019 and track the Dems race back to power.

What a sad DC ping-pong party blog this has become.

Posted by: PJF311 | March 23, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing is that the AIG fallout hasn't really hurt Obama's ratings.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 23, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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