DOWD: ... adult supervision. The problem is, Mitt Romney didn't -- and this is not going to be an issue -- Mitt Romney repudiated this thing, not because it was going to be effective and he thought it might work and I don't want to do it, nobody wants to talk about this. Mitt Romney knows that if we're talking about Reverend Wright, we're not talking about the economy. And if we're not talking about the economy, that benefits Barack Obama.
INGRAHAM: There's something else going on here, though. We were seeing a couple of weeks ago evidence now -- the Obama campaign has an enemies list, where Mr. Vandersloot -- you know, very wealthy man getting involved in politics who is being demonized for various -- I guess social issues and so forth. This is another individual, Joe Ricketts, TD Ameritrade, billionaire, who does ending spending. As George said, it's an economic -- they focus on economic issues.
This to me was a shot across the bow that if you are a wealthy...
STEPHANOPOULOS: This wasn't from the Obama campaign.
INGRAHAM: If you are -- but if you are a wealthy, wealthy person in the United States, you happen to be conservative, you're going to get involved in this election, then we are going to watch everything that you do, and you sort of step over the line, you talk about past associations with President Obama, anything like that, we will try to destroy you. This means not even -- as far as I know, he didn't even see this proposal, I believe, George. And the idea that he was considering it was a total false narrative put forward by the New York Times to send a message to other people, don't you dare get involved in this election, in any type of, quote, "controversial way."
NEWSOM: The difference was his name appeared in it with a quote that said, "Had John McCain produced a similar ad, Barack Obama would not be president today," which makes this more plausible that, George, maybe there's a gray area between what the New York Times said and what you're saying and more likely that there was some discussion. They had a URL, Character Matters, 54-page comprehensive report. They found and identified key leaders to lead. I'm not convinced that this wasn't further along.
INGRAHAM: But is the president going to be held responsible for everything that MoveOn.org PAC says? I think Jake Tapper raised this issue last week, that, like, why does it always go one way, where the Republican candidate has to repudiate everything that some organization...
STEPHANOPOULOS: The president's been held -- well, the president's been held accountable for Bill Maher and some others and for Hilary Rosen.
INGRAHAM: Oh, really? For Bill Maher?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Certainly, he was -- he was...
INGRAHAM: Did he give that money back to Bill Maher?
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... he got questions about it. But don't you think this was more likely leaked by somebody inside who didn't want this campaign to go forward?
INGRAHAM: I don't -- who knows? I don't know. The New York Times described it as someone who was uncomfortable with the tone.
INGRAHAM: But who could it be? It could be anyone. A couple of different people saw this.
DOWD: It could have been Fred. I mean, Fred could have leaked this. Fred did -- Fred did the witch ad for Christine...
INGRAHAM: But above the fold in the New York Times?
DOWD: These -- these guys -- these media guys...