The Republican presidential primary has been characterized by spates of harsh attack ads, mostly funded by so-called super PACs. So far, however, President Obama, a Democrat, is showing little sign that his campaign will join the super PAC fray.
According to fund-raising figures released this week, the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action raised just $4.1 million in itemized donations in 2011. The bulk of the contributions came from reliably liberal donors: Hollywood and labor unions. In contrast, Restore our Future, supporting Republican candidate Mitt Romney, raised more than $30 million, much of it from the financial industry. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, gave a pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC $10 million last month.