The ad sounds harmless, but giving the President free, positive airtime this close to the election can and will affect this race—especially when the President snuck in some campaign language.
Did any of these lines sound familiar?
On Thursday, just hours before the ad ran, President Obama said in Boulder, Colorado, “We need an agenda that recognizes that we don’t just look out for ourselves, we look out for one another.” (emphasis added)
Or the “we have each other’s backs” line? President Obama used that phrase during the 2012 State of the Union, referring to welfare policies.
But the specific language isn’t the problem. It’s the paid-for airtime—which might as well be an endorsement—for President Obama. Red Cross is one of the most respected 501(c)3 charities in the nation, and implied support from them would help any candidate this close to an election.
Under IRS rules, charities must not appear to help any candidates for office, but this ad seemingly crosses that line.
Instead of spending thousands—if not millions—on ads featuring President Obama, Red Cross could use their donors’ money more productively by taking more generators and more food to the distressed areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.
For the last week, pundits have wondered what impact this storm would have on the election. Instead of realizing the President’s conflict of interest, Red Cross ran this ad anyway. Red Cross donors shouldn’t be pleased. Unless Red Cross runs an ad with Governor Romney, these ads could help President Obama in vital swing states where he is desperate for support.
Ron Meyer is the Press Secretary and Spokesman for American Majority Action. He’s appeared frequently on Fox News, CNN, and GBTV. Contact him at email@example.com.