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New GOP group to target Barack Obama in ad campaign

July 2, 2008 |  2:48 pm

The Republican National Committee has spun off its own independent expenditure committee and plans an initial $3 million ad buy targeting Barack Obama in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Politico reports.

Why the separate group?

Brad Todd, who will run the effort, blamed Obama in a statement to Politico:

"Following Barack Obama's decision to become the only major party presidential candidate in history to not adhere to campaign spending caps, the Republican National Committee has begun an independent expenditure campaign in accordance with FEC regulations."

Under federal law there are no limits on how much the group can spend, though it cannot coordinate efforts with John McCain's campaign or the RNC. Still, both have helped to raise some of the funds that will launch the new effort.

So now we know where the RNC will be funneling some of its cash advantage over the Democratic National Committee to try to compensate for the record-breaking fundraising Obama has enjoyed. And the decision to target those Rust-Belt states underscores the GOP view that Obama is vulnerable in that part of the nation. Three of the four -- Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- went Democratic in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.

Lot of white working-class men and women in those states, which account for 68 electoral votes.

-- Scott Martelle