In a bid to coax big checks out of high-rolling donors, a super PAC supporting Mitt Romney is reportedly paying the aging rock stars of Journey $500,000 to perform at a party Thursday during the Republican National Convention in Tampa. The Romney campaign has been quick to point out that it isn't footing the bill, as the super PAC American Action Network is facing a heated backlash over what critics call a reckless waste of funds that sends an insensitive message to struggling Americans. Was hiring such an expensive band a smart fundraising move — or tone deaf?
This is an insult to the unemployed: What a clueless move, says James Johnson at The Inquisitr. Nothing says "'fight wasteful spending' like half-million-dollar concert," right? The whole idea behind the convention is to send the message to poor and middle-class America that Romney cares. Instead, this super PAC is putting on an absurdly expensive shindig that Romney's critics can hold up as "proof that he has no concept of the average family's plight in America."
"Mitt Romney drops $500,000 on private Journey concert for RNC"
But Romney could use the star power: There has been "a lot of drama" between Romney and the rock world, says Jeanne Dupuis at KO Video, with several performers, including Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Twisted Sister, telling the campaign not to use their music. Journey says it's not making a political statement, but the mere fact that the band isn't rejecting Romney is a plus. Besides, what better way to tout Romney's can-do message than having Journey belt out "Don't Stop Believin'"?
"Journey to play at Mitt Romney fundraiser"
Right or wrong, this is what it takes to raise money: Paying this kind of cash "might seem ludicrous to outsiders," says Mack Rawden at Cinema Blend, but the super PAC is sure to "receive a nice return on its investment." Big-money donors "shell out millions of dollars," and they expect to be romanced with "bold moves" like this. Besides, Democrats "throw fundraisers featuring incredibly expensive food and entertainment," too. "If you're disgusted by this," blame the whole political system.
"Journey getting 500K to play fundraiser for Romney"
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- Opinion Brief: Conservatives' $1 billion spending blitz: Will they buy the election?