Fox News repeatedly allowed Dick Morris to solicit funds on air for anti-Obama ad

››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

Fox News repeatedly allowed Dick Morris to solicit donations for a conservative political action committee to fund an ad attacking Sen. Barack Obama.

In the final days before the presidential election, Fox News has repeatedly allowed syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Dick Morris to solicit donations for a conservative political action committee to fund an ad attacking Sen. Barack Obama.

Between October 27 and October 31, Morris touted an ad by The National Republican Trust Political Action Committee (NRT PAC) attacking Sen. Barack Obama's association with his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in four Fox News appearances -- three times on Fox & Friends and once on Hannity & Colmes. In each of these appearances, Morris solicited viewers to go to GOPtrust.com -- NRT PAC's website -- and make contributions.

On the October 31 edition of Fox & Friends, Morris stated: "One of the things that I think McCain should -- or the McCain supporters should do, is there are still about two hours to contribute to GOPTrust.com, which is the independent expenditure group that is running the Reverend Wright advertisement." Morris later stated: "I hope people give funds to GOPTrust.com to get that issue out." Morris also promoted the organization on the October 30 edition of Fox & Friends saying, "they've raised $4 million so far in private contributions, and they're running this wonderful ad." Morris later added: "They're planning to raise $7 or $8 million, and wallpaper America in the swing states. They already have the time reserved with that advertisement over the closing four or five days." Similarly, on the October 27 edition of Fox & Friends, Morris said GOPtrust.com "is an independent expenditure accepting contributions, if you know what I mean folks, who are running the world's best anti-Reverend Wright ad. It's a 30-second spot. It includes all the stuff that needs to be done in battleground states. They only have a million bucks for this right now. If they had 2 million, they could do a huge amount to swing this election. Let's win this election despite John McCain."

Morris also made similar comments on the October 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes. Morris stated GOPtrust.com is "raising money right now for the next 12 hours and they're hoping to come up with another 2 million. They are going to saturate all of the swing states and the networks with the ad you just saw." Morris later added: "I hope your viewers go online to GOPTrust.com and make it possible to run this ad all over the United States."

From the October 31 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

MORRIS: But on the other hand, in voters over 65, Obama has gone from five ahead to 16 ahead -- an 11-point shift. Now, there are more people under 45 than over 65, so the gap overall is closing. But there are two very different trends going in different directions. I think the reason is, that among young people, the tax issue is really cutting. They are in the process of making their careers, getting together, starting out their lives and they're worried about the "spread the wealth" doctrine.

Among the senior citizens, I think that the Obama attack on McCain over Social Security, which I think is illegitimate, is really cutting among the elderly and could be very dangerous in Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and Florida. One of the things that I think McCain should -- or the McCain supporters should do, is there are still about two hours to contribute to GOPTrust.com, which is the independent expenditure group that is running the Reverend Wright advertisement. And I think that will cut very well among senior citizens.

JOHNSON: What is the Reverend Wright --

MORRIS: And in light of this poll data --

JOHNSON: -- advertisement? What is that, Dick, the Reverend Wright advertisement?

MORRIS: They played it -- we talked about that yesterday. It's an advertisement that plays Reverend Wright with his footage on G.D. America and USA of KKK, and talks about the relationship between Wright and Obama. And it's something McCain has refused to do in this campaign and won't let the Republican Party do. But this independent expenditure group, GOPtrust.com --

JOHNSON: Dick, hold that -- hold that thought.

MORRIS: -- is doing it.

JOHNSON: Hold that thought.

MORRIS: OK.

JOHNSON: Hold that thought. Please stay with us. We're going to come right back in a few seconds -- more with Dick Morris, more about how this election is tightening up, and more about why.

[...]

MORRIS: My own analysis of the poll has been more focused on the age issue --

DOOCY: Sure.

MORRIS: -- although both things can be happening at the same time. And I was saying that among senior citizens, if McCain can get them back and keep the gains he's had among young people, he can win this election. And the key to that I think are two issues: One is the Reverend Wright issue, where I hope people give funds to GOPTrust.com to get that issue out, and the second is health care. In my book, Fleeced, I described that if Obama extends health care to 47 million new Americans without expanding the number of doctors -- in fact they're contracting -- or nurses, you're going to force rationing.

From the October 30 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

MORRIS: Yeah, I think that Obama's really hurt himself on the income redistribution issue. I think that is cutting at him every single day. But the other thing that's cutting at him is Reverend Wright is coming back. McCain won't use him. The Republican Party is told by McCain not to use him. But there's an independent expenditure group -- I got the name wrong when I was on your show on Monday.

DOOCY: Hmm-mm.

MORRIS: It's GOPTrust.com. And now they've raised $4 million so far in private contributions, and they're running this wonderful ad. They played it on O'Reilly last night, where essentially they have footage of Reverend Wright and the voiceover talks about the relationship between the two of them. They're planning to raise $7 or $8 million, and wallpaper America in the swing states. They already have the time reserved with that advertisement over the closing four or five days.

DOOCY: Interesting.

MORRIS: And I think that can have a big effect. It was what crippled Obama in the primaries. And I think coming on top of the talk about income redistribution --

DOOCY: Hmm-mm.

MORRIS: -- and tax policy, I think it could be enormously effective.

DOOCY: All right, he's joining us this morning from a chilly Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dick Morris, we thank you very much. Check out his book. It is called Fleeced. Actually, he needs some fleece up there in Grand Rapids.

KILMEADE: It's cold.

DOOCY: It's a little on the chilly side. Thank you, Dick.

From the October 27 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

CARLSON: Welcome back everyone. America, of course, choosing a new president in only eight days: Can John McCain mount a comeback in this final week of campaigning? Dick Morris, a Fox News contributor and author of course of The New York Times best-seller Fleeced, joins me live from Dallas this morning. Good morning to you, Dick.

MORRIS: Good morning.

CARLSON: All right, news alert: If the McCain camp happens to be watching the show today, or any of their surrogates, pay attention 'cause Dick Morris is about to give you the three top points of how McCain can win this election. Number one, Dick, is what?

[...]

CARLSON: All right, number two -- and this is a sticking point with the McCain camp -- is to bring back Reverend Jeremiah Wright, which, by many accounts was a bigger issue for Obama than Bill Ayers. Why do they refuse to do this, Dick, and do you think they will?

MORRIS: I don't think they will. McCain has refused to. He won't even let the Republican Party do it, but I have a solution. There is a group called GOPTrust.com, GOPTrust.com. That is an independent expenditure accepting contributions, if you know what I mean, folks, who are running the world's best anti-Reverend Wright ad. It's a 30-second spot. It includes all the stuff that needs to be done in battleground states. They only have a million bucks for this right now. If they had 2 million, they could do a huge amount to swing this election. Let's win this election despite John McCain.

From the October 30 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

COLMES: Joining us now is author of the best-selling book, Fleeced, former Clinton adviser, Dick Morris. Dick, again, as a strategist, is talking about Wright, talking about Ayers, doing this stuff again with a few days left, doing any good for the McCain campaign?

MORRIS: Yeah, the Wright thing certainly is. I had a conversation with this group, which is called GOPTrust.com, today. They told me that they've raised $4.5 million in the last few days.

They're raising money right now for the next 12 hours and they're hoping to come up with another $2 million. They are going to saturate all of the swing states and the networks with the ad you just saw.

Now, the polling, the Fox News poll, which shows Obama closing the gap from nine -- McCain closing it from 9 to 3, shows two completely different trends at work: Young people are turning away from Obama and toward McCain, driven by the tax issue. There are the -- people under 45 had gone for Obama by 16 points and now they're for McCain by 1 point. And that's largely because of the tax issue and the redistribution issue.

But at the same time, people over 65 have gone from being for Obama by 3 points to being for him by 15, driven probably by Obama's negative ads criticizing McCain over Social Security reform. This ad will have a huge effect on bringing senior citizens back into the McCain camp --

COLMES: All right. But is there enough time? Let's --

MORRIS: -- because it emphasizes the culture of disjuncture.

COLMES: You look at this --

MORRIS: And I hope that your -- I hope your viewers go online to GOPTrust.com and make it possible to run this ad all over the United States.

Posted In
Elections, Campaign Finance, Government
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Dick Morris
Show/Publication
Hannity & Colmes, FOX & Friends
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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