The last 10 days or so have left Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade, in damage-control mode as he tries to distance himself from an incendiary, racially charged anti-Barack Obama ad campaign that would have featured the president’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. After two or three news cycles in which Ricketts was harshly criticized for his support of the ad’s early-stage development — even Mitt Romney, the presumed beneficiary, wanted nothing to do with it — Ricketts retreated, claiming he never liked the idea, either.
The retired billionaire will look for other ways to use his super PAC, the Ending Spending Action Fund, to pummel Obama, according to news reports. If the defensive explanations offered by Ricketts’ supporters are to be believed, he is upset with the president for what he sees as a track record of excessive, wasteful spending that will bankrupt the country. Indeed, that is a central argument of Romney’s campaign, echoed by all the usual suspects, including House Speaker John Boehner.
But there is an obvious hole in their narrative: Where the heck were these guys when George W. Bush was president?