WASHINGTON — Two advocacy groups tied to GOP political guru Karl Rove said Tuesday that they plan to raise $120 million to spend against President Barack Obama and other Democrats in 2012.
The announcement suggests that the American Crossroads "super PAC" and its nonprofit sister group, Crossroads GPS, are likely to assume a leading role among Republican interest groups over the next 20 months.
The two groups raised more than $71 million in their first year, outspending all other outside advocacy groups in the 2010 elections, Federal Election Commission records show.
Crossroads GPS spokesman Jonathan Collegio characterized the new fundraising goal as an effort to form a counterweight to labor unions, who spent heavily in support of Obama and other Democrats in 2008.
"You can't outspend the unions — but you can outcompete them with a faster and leaner organization that offers more bang for the buck," Collegio said in a news release. "That is what the Crossroads groups plan to do in 2012."
If the Crossroads groups meet their goal, they would still lag behind the efforts of Democrat-aligned groups in 2004. That year the top two liberal independent groups raised a combined $140 million to oppose the re-election of President George W. Bush.
The Media Fund raised $59 million for TV advertising, while the union-backed America Coming Together raised $79 million for an organizing campaign with paid canvassers making phone calls and going door-to-door.