Republican strategist Karl Rove on Sunday chastised President Obama for accusing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of soliciting foreign money to influence midterm races.
“They have not a shred of credible evidence to back up those baseless lies,” Mr. Rove, deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “How dare the president do this.”
Mr. Obama accused the chamber twice last week — on trips Thursday for Democratic candidates in Maryland and Illinois.
The accusation that the chamber, which historically supports Republican candidates, was using the money started with a blog post on the website for the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress, according to the chamber.
The center was influential in providing talking points and strategy for Mr. Obama during his election campaign and during the health care debate.
Thomas J. Collamore, a chamber vice president, wrote a letter to the New York Times last week saying an editorial by the paper repeats the “unfounded and unproven allegations” about the chamber’s political education program.
“The blog post is a desperate diversion by people upset about current poll numbers and losing an election,” he wrote. “As we’ve said loud and clear, the Chamber of Commerce complies with all applicable laws, and no foreign money is used to finance our political activities, which are only a fraction of the work we do to promote free enterprise in America.”
The chamber reportedly will spend roughly $75 million on the races. The group has helped pay for thousands of ads that are critical of the Obama administration and the Democratic candidates who support it, but the ads do not endorse candidates.