By Brian C. Mooney, Globe Staff
Another new Republican player has emerged late in the presidential campaign, hammering the same terrorist themes as John McCain and the national GOP.
Established only a few weeks ago, the National Republican Trust Political Action Committee has created a new TV ad that attempts to link Democrat Barack Obama's support for states issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants as a public safety measure to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The ad shows the Florida driver's license of Mohamed Atta, one of the hijackers who commandeered a plane from Boston and flew it into the World Trade Center, and claims that the success of the plot depended on "easy-to-get" licenses. It says Obama is "too radical, too risky."
However, the 9/11 Commission's investigation found that a failure of US intelligence, not the issuance of driver's licenses, made the attacks possible and that all of the attackers had entered the country legally, though the visas of some had lapsed by the time of the attacks.
Scott Wheeler, the PAC's executive direct, said the ad was to begin airing last night in Ohio and would run through next Tuesday. However, the group had not yet filed a report with the Federal Election Commission as of late yesterday. The PAC has reported spending more than $200,000 in opposition to Obama over the past two weeks, almost all of it on emails or Internet ads designed to raise funds.
Wheeler said he and others established the PAC last month because the news media "have told us very little about Barack Obama ... People just feel Senator Obama is a mystery .. and has a history of associations with people who have an agenda."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.