Andy Kroll of Mother Jones penned an article Wednesday on New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez replete with audio recordings, text messages and emails.
In one recording, Martinez referred to Diane Denish, her 2010 Democratic opponent, as "that little bitch." A recording of a 2010 conference call revealed that Martinez had no knowledge of a state panel that serves as an advocate for women. During preparation for a debate, a Martinez aide was recorded saying that New Mexico political icon Ben Luján "sounds like a retard" when he speaks English.
It didn't take long for Martinez to exploit the piece.
Hours after it was published, Martinez circulated a fundraising email decrying the "D.C. Liberal media."
"We’ve come a long way since the days of Bill Richardson, but now liberals in Washington want to undo the progress we’ve made," Martinez said in the email. "In the absolute height of desperation, one of the most radically liberal publications in the country is now peddling false, personal attacks against me, using stolen audiotapes from our debate prep sessions four years ago.
"Their 'smoking gun'? I referred to Diane Denish using the B-word four years ago in a private conversation with close advisers," she continued. "I admit it — I've had to fund the cuss jar a few times in my life."
Desperate to repair its standing with Latino voters, the GOP has high hopes for Martinez. She delivered a well-received primetime speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention and was selected as one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2012. Karl Rove authored the glowing write-up for Time.
As such, conservatives view the article as an effort by a liberal publication to weaken one of their most promising leaders.
Martinez's response could have been predicted the moment Kroll's piece went online this morning. Republicans have long mobilized their supporters with attacks on media outlets.
The Republican National Committee has even ramped up that strategy over the last several months, demanding apologies and threatening boycotts of news organizations it's accused of running afoul.
Here's the fundraising pitch from Martinez: