The massive sums of money set to flow through a litany of new Super PACs next year could easily drown out the major party contenders themselves, according to one strategist for a 2012 hopeful.
Media strategist John Brabender, who’s advising former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum’s campaign, said Tuesday at a forum hosted by National Journal that he expects the campaign narrative to be largely dominated by Super PACs by the time next year’s general election kicks into gear.
“Super PACs will have a greater influence on elections than the campaigns will,” said Brabender.
Former Rep. Vin Weber (R-Minn.), an adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s campaign, questioned Tuesday whether campaigns that lack the support of a Super PAC should even be taken seriously.
A Super PAC backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry is set to roll out its first ads of the primary season this week in South Carolina and Iowa—the first of an anticipated barrage of TV advertising from Super PACs aiming to boost specific GOP hopefuls.
Among the other GOP candidates who can count on a boost from Super PACs—Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Reps. Ron Paul (Texas) and Michele Bachmann (Minn.).
Some in the Romney campaign, meanwhile, are anticipating a withering negative ad assault from the Perry campaign itself, according to Weber. The Romney adviser says Perry’s flight of positive ads in Iowa is a likely precursor to an all-out assault on the GOP frontrunner over the airwaves.
“If he builds himself up, he’ll be in a position to attack,” said Weber. “And that’s kind of what we’re expecting.”