Frank VanderSloot, who is among the eight individuals on an “enemies list” released by President Obama’s campaign team on April 20, told the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday that he’s proud of the distinction.
Yet he is also still, perhaps, a little unnerved. This is “the first time a president of the United States has yielded to the temptation to make an ‘enemies list’ and put it out for the public to see,” he reflected.
VanderSloot, CEO of Melaleuca, an Idaho-based health and househould products company, recounted his rags-to-riches story that may very well be everyone’s idea of the American Dream. He serves as co-chair on Mitt Romney’s national finance committee and is among the Republican presumptive presidential nominee’s top donors. His $1 million contribution to the pro-Romney super-PAC, Restore Our Future, especially, garnered wrath from liberal news outlets. Among others, Stephanie Mecimer of Mother Jones alleged that “VanderSloot has long been a controversial figure in Idaho politics, particularly when it comes to issues involving gays and lesbians” and suggested that Melaleuca had “[deceived] consumers about some of its supplements”.
The negative portrayals of both VanderSloot’s character and his company severely damaged his client relations, which he sought to salvage by openly challenging the claims from the left.
“I’m not afraid of what they’re going to find in my records,” VanderSloot said. “I’m proud of the life I’ve lived.”
Conservative media soon rallied behind him. (Including TAS‘s own Jeff Lord.) Thanks to talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, “the reverse of what [the liberals] wanted to happen has happened.”
Indeed, VanderSloot was pleased to say that “now, all the phone calls, all the internet things that are coming in, all the emails are thirteen to one positive and in support of what we’re doing.”
It is not all rainbows and butterflies, however, and VanderSloot said he continues to be on the defense. “I’m sure [the left] will try to keep [the negative campaign] going,” he said, “because they can’t afford to have this thing fail, and they can’t afford to have it backfire.”