National Republican leaders scrambled Thursday to control damage caused by an internal party document that caricatures President Obama as the Joker and stokes fear of socialism to raise money in a critical election year.
The 72-page PowerPoint presentation reveals the blunt appeal to emotion that both parties use to motivate donors and prefer to keep private. But its release online and consequent cable chatter became an unwelcome distraction for Republicans, because the strategy it outlined fit squarely with Democrats' portrait of the GOP as the party of "no."
"You don't defend it," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele said Thursday in an interview on Fox News. "It was unfortunate. Those were images that were uploaded off the Internet. They've been out in the public domain for a while. A staffer was putting together a presentation for a small group of nine or
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