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Tipsheet

Exclusive Audio: Romney on Reverend Wright

Earlier today my colleague Guy Benson spoke with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney about this morning’s New York Times article that reported a conservative SuperPac was planning to run ads criticizing the president’s relationship with Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright. The full interview will first air tonight on the Hugh Hewitt Radio Show between 6:00-9:00 pm EST (Guy will be guest hosting with Mary Katharine Ham), but you can catch a sneak peak of the conversation in the video below.

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After the interview went viral, Megyn Kelley aired the clip on her television show America Live on the Fox News Channel.

As it happens, the right-leaning Super-PAC's proposal to run attacks ads highlighting President Obama’s 20-year relationship with Reverend Wright has since been rejected.

Both Mitt Romney and Obama's campaign denounced the ad proposal after it was reported in The New York Times Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon, the Ending Spending Action Fund super-PAC, run by billionaire Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts, put out a statement rejecting the plan to spend $10 million to link Obama and Wright in a "big, attention-arresting way."

The proposal "reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects and it was never a plan to be accepted but only a suggestion for a direction to take. Mr. Ricketts intends to work hard to help elect a President this fall who shares his commitment to economic responsibility, but his efforts are and will continue to be focused entirely on questions of fiscal policy, not attacks that seek to divide us socially or culturally," according to a statement from the Ending Spending Action Fund.

Romney personally repudiated the super-PAC's plan in an interview with the blog Town Hall.

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Update: Jennifer Rubin absolutely unloads on the left's stunning hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy takes your breath away. After months and months of ”Mitt Romney is a MORMON” coverage and endless insinuation that Romney’s faith will be problem for him (or that he is obliged to defend the precepts of his faith), the mention of possible ads featuring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has the left-wing media in hysterics.

If you want to argue that religion is off bounds and that what counts is a candidate’s public record, the candidates’ own words and his own explanation for how faith affects his public conduct, then that standard should be equally applied. If, however, you want to hold candidates accountable for the precepts of their place of worship, then that standard should also be applied even-handedly.

Whether exploration of faith for a given candidate is productive for his opponent is an entirely different matter. I’ve argued to my friends on the right that it’s useless to go back to the albeit-troubling record of President Obama in Wright’s church and his association with characters like Bill Ayers; Americans don’t care. Moreover, the far better evidence of Obama’s left-leaning ideology is his own record. Instead of recounting what Wright said about Jews, it’s more relevant to recount what Obama has said to and about (“You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you”) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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