Elections
FILE - in this Feb. 8, 2011 file photo, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa listens at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) FILE - in this Feb. 8, 2011 file photo, Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa listens at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)  

Liberal super PAC: Calling Republicans racist more effective than criticizing policy

Photo of Alex Pappas
Alex Pappas
Political Reporter
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

A top official at a liberal super PAC with the goal of eradicating tea partiers from Congress is telling activists that it’s more effective to label Republicans as racists than criticize their policies.

According to an audio recording obtained by The Daily Caller, Matthew “Mudcat” Arnold, the national campaign manager of the liberal CREDO super PAC, told a gathering of supporters in Aurora, Colo., on Sept. 8 that they’ve realized “policy did not move voters.”

He used Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King as an example.

“When we said that Steve King … is pro-life and believes in cutting Social Security and voted for the Ryan budget, no one cared,” Arnold said. “When we said Steve King’s a racist, Steve King believes that immigrants ought to be put in electric fences, people moved.”

“When you talk about the substance of a man’s character, people respond,” Arnold continued. “Believe it or not, that is not something politicians knew.”

CREDO super PAC, which did not immediately return a request for comment from The Daily Caller on Thursday, bills itself as a “political committee working to defeat ten of the most odious tea party members of Congress.”

Arnold made the comments while discussing the organization’s campaign against Colorado Republican Rep. Mike Coffman. The event at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse was billed as a gathering for “CREDO members and local activists to discuss our campaign to defeat Mike Coffman.”

Democratic candidate Joe Miklosi is challenging Coffman. Republicans reacted to Arnold’s comments by pouncing on Miklosi.

“The irony of this is that Miklosi repeatedly tries to paint Coffman as a radical, but he’s got a far, far left-wing group of crazies supporting him and helping his campaign,” said a Republican strategist familiar with the campaign. “Miklosi is masquerading as a moderate, but you can tell a lot about somebody by the company they keep.”

The super PAC’s strategy of trying to smear Republicans is evident with the nicknames they’ve given to the 10 members they are targeting this year: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is “Queen of Crazy,” Florida Rep. Allen West is “Beyond Crazy,” Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh is “America’s Most Offensive Congressman,” and Iowa Rep. Steve King is “Paranoid Bigot.”

“We want to stop people who have hijacked our community, who have hijacked the national platform and who are advocating policies and saying things in public that embarrass us,” Arnold said.

Follow Alex on Twitter