On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” Matt Rhoades, chairman of the America Rising, was featured in the show’s weekly “Power Player of the Week” segment.
Transcript as follows:
WALLACE: Every election there’s a game changer, whether it’s an issue or the candidate’s own words. Now one campaign veteran is taking lessons he learned the hard way to change the game in 2016. Here is our power player of the week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RHOADES, CHAIRMAN, AMERICA RISING: It’s not dumpster diving. It’s very issue-focused. Especially in the era of social media, Twitter, Tumbler, there’s just a constant appetite now for content.
WALLACE: Matt Rhoades is the head of “America Rising” what’s been called an opposition research factory that goes after Democratic candidates. Last election day, they had 73 full-time staffers in more than two dozen states putting out damaging information in Senate, House and state races.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, yes, I did miss that one.
WALLACE (on camera): How do you feel when you’re a researcher, your tracker comes to you and says, look at this, boss.
RHOADES: It’s a rush, no doubt about it, Chris.
WALLACE (voice over): Such as when they got a hold of this clip of Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley taking a shot at Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRUCE BRALEY: You might have a farmer from Iowa, who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RHOADES: He bagged on Iowa farmers, he bagged on Senator Chuck Grassley. We released it to the Iowa media and it just transformed the race.
WALLACE: While at headquarters, staffers search a candidate’s record and old clips. “America Rising” also has trackers in the field recording everything that Democrat says and sometimes trying to create an issue.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Nunn, did you vote for President Obama in 2008 and 2012?
WALLACE: Which brings us to 2016.
RHOADES: So, this is the presidential research team. All of these people here are focused on Secretary Clinton and so their task day in and day out —
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look for any Hillary videos you can find.
WALLACE: The team has been going through Clinton’s record for almost two years now. And you never know when it’s going to pay off.
RHOADES: This is our war room, Chris.
WALLACE (on camera): When Hillary Clinton holds her news conference, so that’s on all four TVs there. Does this place shut down or do they speed up?
RHOADES: That’s go time for this crew.
HILLARY CLINTON: I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two.
WALLACE (voice over): Clinton was still talking when the war room pumped out this clip from a few weeks earlier.
HILLARY CLINTON: iPhone.
HILLARY CLINTON: OK. In full disclosure, Blackberry. And a Blackberry.
RHOADES: Basically blowing a whole in her convenience argument about why wanting to – one e-mail and one device.
WALLACE: Rhoades felt the sting of oppo research as Mitt Romney’s campaign manager in 2012. He says a Democratic group “American Bridge” was better than anything the GOP had then.
RHOADES: Our Democrat opponents in the Republican primary were the first ones that asked Mitt to release his tax returns.
MITT ROMNEY: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for this president no matter what.
WALLACE (on camera): Is there some connection between the fact that you’re doing this and that Romney was kind of sunk by a video about the 47 percent?
RHOADES: Is there some poetic justice in the Bruce Braley clip? I hope. We can’t change what happened, but we certainly can balance the playing field.
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