Top Obama advisor David Axelrod relished in Karl Rove’s defeat Thursday, telling reporters on a conference call that donors to Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC should ask for their money back. “If I were one of those billionaires…I’d be wanting to talk to someone and asking where my refund is, because they didn’t get much for their money,” Axelrod said. “I would think there’ll be reluctance in the future when Mr. Rove and others come knocking on the door because of what happened on Tuesday.”
“The heartening news,” Axelrod concluded, “is that you can’t buy the White House; you can’t overwhelm the Congress with these Super PAC dollars.”
The takeaway is a little disingenuous coming from a campaign that spent upwards of $1 billion to get Obama re-elected. But the poor performance of Crossroads and other super PACs have raised questions about the efficacy of these so-called “dark money” groups, which spent billions of dollars on attack ads this cycle.
A new report from the Sunlight Foundation found that American Crossroads got a 1.29% return on the $104 million it spent on ads in 2012. Crossroads Strategies, the affiliated non-profit, got a 14% return on $70.7 million.