CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Democratic National Committee teed off on Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, saying a top moneyman helped finance ads that used images of Hitler and a Swastika in attack ads. The DNC called them "hate-filled" efforts in an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who won a second term. A story last week in the Detroit Free Press tracked down campaign finance reports about the Hitler ad. John Rakolta, the DNC said, is Romney's former brother-in-law.
Rakolta shows up in this campaign presser from January (scan down through it). Rakolta has served as Romania's honorary consul in Detroit, and operates a large construction company. An excerpt of the DNC's reaction today follows:
"It's been quite a week for smooth talking Mitt Romney. First he ignites a firestorm by quoting Fidel Castro in Miami. Now one of his leading fundraisers is linked to a campaign ad featuring Adolph Hitler. According to campaign finance records, Romney backer John Rakolta was one of the primary funders of a Michigan group responsible for hate-filled ads targeting Governor Jennifer Granholm in last year's election.
"The ads, purchased by a group called Voice the Vote, featured images of Hitler and a swastika alongside Governor Granholm and Democratic Presidents Clinton, Carter, Johnson, and Roosevelt. Rakolta, who serves as Romney's national finance co-chair and the co-chair of his Commonwealth PAC, and his wife each gave $5,000 to Voice the Vote last year.
"The news that one of Romney's leading fundraisers backed a racist ad in Michigan comes days after the Washington Post reported that Bob Perry, who gave $4.5 million to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's campaign in 2004 to distort John Kerry's military record, is now raising money for Romney.
"Romney's decision to team up with Perry comes despite the fact that he once championed tough campaign finance proposals that would have limited the influence of people like Perry."
"DNC spokesman Damien LaVera said:
"With the voters rejecting his smooth talk, it looks like Mitt Romney's campaign will take a decidedly nasty and desperate turn. If Mitt Romney is serious about providing the American people an honest debate on the issues people care about, he needs to disavow the attack ads . . . "