In the 2010 midterms, Crossroads GPS and the American Action Network talked proudly of their political clout, spending millions across the country to buy TV ads to defeat Democrats and grabbing credit for helping Republicans retake the House.
But now the two groups and others like them are changing their tune, saying that intervening in political campaigns really isn’t their primary mission.
Why the backtracking? Both groups now are under pressure to spend more noncampaign dollars than campaign dollars or risk running afoul of Internal Revenue Service rules that limit certain types of political activity.
The new GOP spending, which will be backed by millions more from anonymous donors, represents Round Two in the rise of the Republican outside groups seeking a permanent presence on the political scene.