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John Kerry: They're swiftboating Obama

(AP Photo)

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has lent his name to a fundraising solicitation that raises the specter of millionaires and billionaires funding an outside effort against President Obama.

"When I was the Democratic nominee for president in one of the closest and toughest elections in history, a group of billionaires did something unprecedented," Kerry wrote. "They wrote million-dollar checks to fund lies about my service on what were called "Swift Boats" in Vietnam -- and in so doing, they turned the boats my crewmates and I served on into a new political shorthand for the most vicious smears imaginable: 'swiftboating.'"

In 2004, an anti-Kerry 527 group formed to raise questions about his war record and air ads against the senator, then running as the Democratic nominee for president. Its' spokesman, Jerome Corsi, would go on to become one of the leading proponents of the 'birther' conspiracy that falsely suggests Obama was born in Kenya or elsewhere.

Kerry points to a $3 million dollar donation to a pro-Romney super PAC by Houston construction magnate Bob Perry as the next round in an outside effort against Obama.

"One man. Three million dollars. And that's just the start," Kerry writes.

"I know all too clearly that these guys will do or say anything to win. They'll stop at nothing. But forewarned is forearmed. Their multi-million dollar smear tactics were new in 2004; in 2012 we know their playbook, and shame on us if we don't tear it into shreds. Join me and we will stop the 'swiftboating' of President Obama," Kerry emails.

Obama has his own group of mega-rich supporters and a super PAC working on his behalf — but Kerry is right that super PAC donations have flowed more to the GOP side than to allies of the president. With the exception of a million dollar donation from comedian Bill Maher, no mega donors have so far chipped in with seven figure checks to Obama's super PAC — despite the fact that the administration has allowed cabinet secretaries and White House staffers to help fundraise on their own time.

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