White House senior adviser David Axelrod said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has the burden of proving false the charge by Democrats that the business group is funneling foreign money to Republican campaigns.
Axelrod was pressed by CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Sunday for evidence that the foreign campaign contributions benefiting the GOP is more than “peanuts.”
“Do you have any evidence that it’s not, Bob?” Axelrod said on “Face the Nation.” “The fact is that the Chamber has asserted that, but they won’t release any information about where their campaign money is coming from. And that’s at the core of the problem.”
A new ad by the Democratic National Committee accuses the Chamber of “benefiting from secret foreign money” and said that the business group and Republican operatives are “stealing our democracy.”
President Obama and Democrats have attacked the Chamber and outside conservative groups for exploiting campaign finance rules that were relaxed by the Supreme Court this year to spend big on Republicans in the midterm elections without disclosing where the money is coming from.
Democrats have said that foreign-based individuals or corporations could funnel money through those groups to influence the election. The Chamber has denied being involved in such practices.
Axelrod on Sunday said Democrats are attacking the spending out of a “fundamental concern” that the “Republican Party and interest groups ... want to turn the clock back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”
Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman and one of the GOP operatives named in the DNC ad, noted that Obama benefited from millions in undisclosed contributions in 2008 and that Republicans are now using the same rules.
“Don’t accuse those who are playing by the rules of somehow doing something that is unethical or illegal,” Gillespie said on “Face the Nation.”
Gillespie added that it was “an unbelievable mentality” for Axelrod to assert charges about foreign contributions without backing them up.