A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Sleaze Sells


When we ran an article yesterday calling the first TV spot from The National Republican Trust PAC one of the sleaziest false ads we’ve seen, the group had reported spending just under $1 million. But it seems that the attack, which featured Mohammed Atta, may have helped the upstart group strike gold: In an Oct. 29 fundraising e-mail NRT PAC claims to have raised more than $3 million.

The ad flashes an image of the 9/11 terrorist’s Florida driver’s license while falsely charging that Obama has a “plan” to issue driver’s licenses to any illegal immigrant who might want one. It goes on to claim, also falsely, that Obama plans to provide illegal immigrants with health care and Social Security benefits. None of this is true. It’s one of the worst ads we’ve seen this cycle, and that’s saying something.

The ad initially ran in Ohio, but NRT says it’s now running “in 5 battleground states.”

NRT PAC operates by making provocative attacks against Obama — without much regard for factual accuracy — through e-mail messages and on the conservative Web site Newsmax. Most of the attacks are accompanied by an appeal for donations, and a link to a page where a donation may be made online. Moral: Sleaze sells.

You can read our full smackdown of the ad in our article, A License to Kill, over on the main site.