National Republican Trust PAC

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The National Republican Trust PAC is a political action committee founded in September 2008. It describes itself as "an independent organization to help promote American values and support federal candidates for Congress, Senate and the Presidency who share those values" and "committed to continuing the legacy of Ronald Reagan."[1] Scott L. Wheeler is executive director, and Peter Leitner (a former Pentagon adviser and president of the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center, which trains law enforcement personnel on counterterrorism) is treasurer.[2] The PAC is not affiliated with the Republican National Committee.


Dick Morris has repeatedly promoted and encoraged donations to the PAC while failing to disclose his own apparent financial ties to the group. The PAC has paid a firm apparently affiliated with Morris, Triangulation Strategies, at least $24,000 since October 2008, mostly for "Email Communication."[3]


Attacks on Barack Obama

During the 2008 presidential campaign, the PAC spent $8.19 million on ads attacking Barack Obama.[4]

An October 2008 ad produced by the PAC asserted that Obama would "gives a driver's license to any illegal who wants one." said of the ad: "So this group is guilty of some serious hyperbole. It took words of support from Obama for the concept of granting drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants and portrayed them not just as a specific plan, but as one that would hand licenses out like candy. We find it Barely True."[5]

Another PAC ad, which falsely claimed that Obama "gives illegals Social Security benefits," was called "of the sleaziest false TV ads of the campaign" by[6]

The PAC also spent $2 million on a campaign ad attempting to link Obama to Rev. Jeremiah Wright.[7]

The PAC has continued to attack Obama, and has also vowed to oppose Republican members of Congress who voted for Obama's stimulus package.[8]

Georgia Senate runoff, November 2008

The PAC spent more than $631,000 in support of Republican Saxby Chambliss and in opposition to his Democratic opponent, Jim Martin, during a Senate runoff election in Georgia.[9] Ads it ran included one that called a vote for Martin a vote for "Obama's radical agenda."[10]

New York special Congressional election, March 2009

The PAC supported Republican Jim Tedisco over Democrat Scott Murphy in a special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by Kirsten Gillibrand. The PAC spent more than $819,000 on ads supporting Tedisco and attacking Murphy. [11] Polls suggested that negative ads on Tedisco's behalf, like those run by the PAC, made voters less likely to support Tedisco.[12]

When a New York TV station asked the PAC to provide documentation to support claims in one ad attacking Murphy, the PAC reportedly pulled the ad.[13] The PAC denied the claim, and Wheeler asserted that it had provided documentation to the TV station.[14] According to, the publications Wheeler cited as evidence for a claim in the ad that Murphy created 1,000 jobs in India do not support the claim.[15]


Contact information

National Republican Trust PAC
2100 M St. NW
Suite 170-340
Washington, DC 20037-1233

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "About," National Republican Trust PAC, accessed April 14, 2009.
  2. Sarah Posner, "New Conservative PAC: Obama Will Give Driver's Licenses to Terrorists," Tapped blog, The American Prospect, October 12, 2008.
  3. In TV appearances and columns, Dick Morris repeatedly promotes group without disclosing apparent financial relationship, Media Matters, November 24, 2008.
  4. David Wiegel, "Hard-Right PAC Complicates GOP Mission," Washington Independent, March 17, 2009.
  5. "Not much of a plan here,", October 21, 2008.
  6. "A License to Kill,", October 28, 2008.
  7. Greg Sargent, "Conservative Group To Run Anti-Wright Ads On National Networks Through Election Day," Talking Points Memo, October 30, 2008.
  8. "Group pledges to fight GOP senators who support stimulus,", February 11, 2009.
  9. "National Republican Trust PAC Independent Expenditures,", accessed April 14, 2009.
  10. Greg Sargent, "Right-Wing Group's New Georgia Ad Attacks 'Radical' Obama, Warns He's 'One Senate Vote Away From Total Control,'" Talking Points Memo, November 26, 2008.
  11. Josh Kraushaar and Charles Mathesian,"In NY20 race: no winner, one loser," Politico, April 1, 2009.
  12. David Wiegel, "Hard-Right PAC Complicates GOP Mission," Washington Independent, March 17, 2009.
  13. Irene Jay Liu, "When asked for evidence, PAC withdraws anti-Murphy ad," Capitol Confidential blog, Albany Times-Union, March 16, 2009.
  14. Irene Jay Liu, "Nat’l GOP Trust PAC voices its discontent," Capitol Confidential blog, Albany Times-Union, March 17, 2009.
  15. "He Said, She Said in the NY-20,", March 20, 2009.

External resources

  • Summary data for National Republican Trust PAC,

External articles