Romney camp seeks distance from anti-Obama ads

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Mitt Romney's campaign is distancing itself from a Republican-leaning super PAC's plan to run ads highlighting President Barack Obama's ties to his controversial former pastor.

Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades says the Republican presidential hopeful is focused on jobs and the economy. Rhoades says the campaign would repudiate any efforts that amount to "character assassination."

A GOP strategist confirmed Thursday that conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts wants to bankroll an effort by an independent group to publicize the racially incendiary sermons delivered by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright at a Chicago church Obama once attended.

The Republican spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private strategy sessions.

The plan would involve at least $10 million in advertising. News of the campaign was first reported by The New York Times.