- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 24, 2010

Top Republican leaders on Sunday again defended the use of money from outside groups to support GOP political campaigns, saying that Democrats exercised the same legal rights in the 2008 presidential elections but that the system needs more transparency.

“Four unions spent $220 million” to help President Obama, GOP strategist Karl Rove said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” “and suddenly everybody has gotten spun up about it. “I can’t remember [Mr. Obama] ever saying that was a threat to democracy when liberals were doing it.”

Still, Mr. Rove, deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, acknowledged that groups not having to disclose the names of donors could have too much influence on voters and elections.

“Let’s be honest,” said Mr. Rove, who is affiliated with American Crossroads, one of the groups being criticized. “I would like to have a different system, but it’s the one we have.”

Mr. Rove made his comments as Michael S. Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, lashed out again at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, for comments made this weekend about “secret” money.

“Don’t give me this high and mighty,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

He challenged Mrs. Pelosi and other Democrats to provide evidence that groups backing GOP candidates were taking contributions illegally. He also said Mr. Obama refused to disclose money sources that helped him get elected two years ago.

“Put up or shut up,” he said.

However, he acknowledged, “at the end of the day, I’m all for transparency.”

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