A few weeks ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee accused top Republican donor Sheldon Adelson of personally approving and profiting off of prostitution at his Macau casinos. It wasn’t the smartest move, since their charge was based on unsubstantiated allegations from a disgruntled employer who’s been suing Adelson for years. The casino mogul’s attorney immediately slapped the DCCC with the threat of a defamation suit, and now the group has backed off and apologized, according to The Hill:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued an apology to casino mogul and prominent Republican donor Sheldon Adelson on Thursday, after the billionaire threatened to sue the organization over comments insinuating he profited from prostitution at his Chinese resorts.
“In press statements issued on June 29 and July 2, 2012, the DCCC made unsubstantiated allegations that attacked Sheldon Adelson, a supporter of the opposing party,” the DCCC said in an e-mail released Thursday. ”This was wrong. The statements were untrue and unfair and we retract them. The DCCC extends its sincere apology to Mr. Adelson and his family for any injury we have caused.”
That could not have been an easy apology for the DCCC, but clearly it didn’t want to get tied up in a defamation suit and spend massive sums defending itself during an election year when it can least afford it.
This all could have been avoided if the DCCC was just a little bit more careful in its statements on Adelson. Now that the group had to retract its comments, it pretty much takes the Macau prostitution controversy off the table for Democrats for the rest of the election cycle. Anytime it’s brought up, all the GOP would need to do is point out that the DCCC was forced to apologize after repeating the allegations. Adelson just inoculated himself from one of the only damaging lines of attack Democrats had against him.
By the way, this isn’t the first apology Adelson has received from a Democratic attack group this season. The NJDC also backed down from its claim last month that Adelson’s money was “dirty” because of the Macau casino allegations, after Jewish American leaders blasted the campaign as partisan and unfair.