Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is "livid" over a proposed $10 million ad campaign funded by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts that would tie President Barack Obama to his former pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
"The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama -- with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the President and the Presidential Campaign,” an Emanuel aide told the Chicago Sun-Times. "He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy."
Publicly, Emanuel blasted the effort, which planned to link Obama to incendiary comments Wright has made in the past. "America is too great a country with too great a future for the content that they’re talking about. And it’s insulting to the president. It’s insulting to the country," he said.
The Ricketts family owns the Chicago Cubs, and Joe's son Tom is chairman of the team. The bombshell report couldn't come at a worse time for the Ricketts, who are seeking public funds to renovate 98-year-old Wrigley Field. Emanuel has a plan to use amusement tax revenues and other incentives to pay for the renovations to the park, which did not have night lights until 1988.
Emanuel is reportedly refusing to take the Ricketts' calls.
Tom Ricketts put out a statement repudiating the proposed ad. His father, meanwhile, said on Thursday that he "rejected" the ad, but the document obtained by the Times notes that he had given the ad campaign his "preliminary approval." His daughter Laura, an Obama bundler and outspoken advocate for gay rights, said in a statement Thursday that the members of her family "love and respect each other."
Asked if the proposed attack would affect the Wrigley renovation plans, Emanuel said, "I'll have some conversations on that later -- comments, rather."
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