Updated 1:48 p.m. - House Speaker John Boehner refused to comment on whether or not super PACs should use the Reverend Jeremiah Wright in political advertisements, saying instead that the presidential race would be about the economy.
This morning the New York Times broke the story that a conservative super PAC was contemplating -- and even had drawn up storyboards -- of an ad that would link President Obama to his controversial former pastor. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney decried the possible ad saying to Townhall:
"I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they've described. I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity -- particularly for those in the middle class of America.”
Boehner did not go as far as Romney, refusing to directly renounce the prospective ads.
"Listen, this election is going to be about the economy," he said. "I don't know what the other people do or why they do it, all I know if the American people vote with their wallets."
When reminded by NBC News that four years ago, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was then the GOP nominee, disallowed his campaign from using Wright in any ads, Boehner responded, “The campaign is going to be about economics, it's going to be about jobs, as it should be.”
Since the outset of the Obama administration, Boehner has shown a reluctance to wade into the culture wars that have grown from some conservatives' intense dislike of the president, preferring instead to focus squarely on the economy. Boehner never outright condemns factions of his party that question the president’s patriotism or birthplace nor does he give them relevance, instead he repeats his mantra: “Where are the jobs?”
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel added: "As Boehner said, this election should be about the economy - not Rev. Wright."