American Crossroads, a powerful political action committee whose fundraising helped propel sweeping GOP gains in 2010, said Friday morning it plans to raise $120 million to counter the Obama campaign's virtually limitless financial clout.
At a breakfast conference sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, American Crossroads chairman Mike Duncan predicted that Obama's reelection campaign and allies such as labor unions would raise $2 billion for the 2012 push and cast the election season as a David and Goliath battle in which Democrats would have the clear fundraising edge.
We're going to have $2 billion spent in the suspension of reality, Duncan said. [Obama]'s going to be a formidable opponent in the fall, he added.
American Crossroads and its sister organization Crossroads GPS, whose founders included prominent GOP strategists Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, will stay on the sidelines during a potentially bruising GOP nomination process. They will wait to back a candidate until a nominee emerges, choosing instead to mount a publicity campaign attacking Obama's record, American Crossroads president Steven Law said.
Our mission is very clear and focused on putting attention on the president's record, Law said. The Obama camp, with its virtually limitless financial resources, will be active prior to the time that a Republican nominee is chosen. One of the roles we can effectively play is to be a factor during that time.
The two organizations raised more than $70 million during the 2010 election cycle, and Law said they have already pulled in $3.8 million this time around. At the time Obama criticized the stampede of special interest money unleashed by the Citizens United U.S. Supreme Court decision but since then Democrats have worked to build a formidable fundraising machine that will also rely on massive undisclosed funding.
Law added that 2012 was unlikely to resemble 2010, when a wave of conservative, libertarian, and populist anger at incumbent Democrats helped to fuel a massive Republican resurgence.
We think this is going to be a very lively and in some ways volatile election and we feel good about it, Law said, adding, I'm not sure that either side will have the wind at it's back the way that we did last fall, so we're just going to have to work hard and work smart.