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Crossroads Groups Won’t Endorse in Presidential Primary

The influential Republican groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS will not be taking sides in the GOP presidential primary, the groups’ leaders said Friday.

“Crossroads and Crossroads GPS will not be involved in the Republican presidential primary — we’re just not going to do that,” American Crossroads Chairman Mike Duncan told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Carl Forti, political director of American Crossroads, is on the board of a new “super” political action committee formed by backers of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential bid. But Duncan said Forti was a “contract employee” for American Crossroads and emphasized that he was not personally “involved in a presidential campaign.”

Some other groups are also remaining neutral, but the conservative FreedomWorks has said one of its 2012 aims is to make sure Romney is not the nominee.

Duncan said the Crossroads groups will be aiming to raise and spend $120 million in the 2012 cycle. Asked about the breakdown of how that money might be spent between House, Senate and presidential races, American Crossroads President Steven Law said it is “too early to tell.” He noted that flexibility was a hallmark of their 2010 strategy, shifting resources from Senate to House races late in the cycle.

“One of the areas … where we were able to be helpful is where you had an entrenched incumbent. … We were able to help challengers get in the ring,” Law said.

The most recent Federal Election Commission filings show American Crossroads had raised $3.82 million from Jan. 1 through June 13.

Law said that since the November 2010 elections, Crossroads GPS has already spent money in “more than 40 House districts” across the country, equally split between Democratic-held and Republican-held districts. He also noted Crossroads GPS’ involvement in Wisconsin’s budget battle, with a national ad buy of almost $1 million. American Crossroads also got involved in the heated special election in New York’s 26th Congressional district.

Crossroads GPS is able to raise money without disclosing its donors.

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