Charles R. Black Jr.

  (Redirected from Charlie Black (lobbyist))

Charles R. Black Jr. (born October 11, 1947) is the Chairman of Prime Policy Group, a public affairs firm which is a subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller Global Public Relations. Prime Policy Group was formed with the merger of Martin B. Gold's Gold & Liebengood with the Washington, DC-based lobbying firm he co-founded—Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly—with Paul Manafort, Roger J. Stone, and Peter G. Kelly. In 2010, Black was inducted into the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) Hall of Fame.[1]

Charles R. Black Jr.
Charlie Black - GOP candidates jockey for delegate ‘free agents’ in Virginia 4-49 screenshot.png
Black in 2016
Born (1947-10-11) October 11, 1947 (age 73)
Alma materUniversity of Florida (BA)
American University (JD)
Political partyRepublican

Black is a "longtime Washington lobbyist" who "worked in every Republican presidential campaign" since 1972.[2] He worked for Ronald Reagan's three presidential campaigns in 1976, 1980 and 1984 and was a senior political adviser to the 1992 re-election campaign of George H.W. Bush. He served as chief campaign adviser for Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election and was an informal adviser to Governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign during the 2012 presidential election.[3] In 2016, Black worked as a campaign adviser for Governor John Kasich in the 2016 presidential election.[4][5]


Black earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida in 1969 and a JD from American University's school of law in 1974.[3]

Political campaignsEdit

Black says that he fell in love with politics when he worked on the presidential campaign of Republican Barry Goldwater as a high school student in 1964.[6]

In 1972, he was a campaign worker in the first senatorial campaign of Jesse Helms running against Nick Galifinakis.[6][7]

Black co-founded the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC) with Terry Dolan and Roger Stone.[6]

Black went on to work for a succession of Republican presidential campaigns from 1976 to 1992, including those of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. His first hire on the Reagan campaign was Lee Atwater, whom he met during the course of his work with the Republican National Committee in 1972. Later Black served as the National Spokesperson for the RNC. He re-emerged as an adviser to George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and was often quoted as White House spokesperson. He has been described as an "iconic Republican operative."[8]

Black was Senator John McCain's chief strategist in the 2008 presidential election.[2]

In a June 2008 Fortune magazine interview, Black said that McCain's "knowledge and ability to talk about" the "chaos lurking in the world", specifically the "unfortunate event" of Benazir Bhutto's assassination in December "reemphasized that [McCain] was "the guy who's ready to be Commander-in-Chief. And it helped us."[2] Black also "conceded with startling candor" that "another terrorist attack on U.S. soil" "would be a big advantage to [McCain].[2]

During the 2016 presidential election Black was Governor John Kasich's campaign advisor.[4][5]

Lobbying activityEdit

In 1980 he co-founded the Washington, DC-based lobbying firm Black, Manafort and Stone (BMSK) with principals Paul Manafort, Roger J. Stone and Peter G. Kelly who joined the firm later.[8][9][10] Black's lobbying firm became one of "Washington's most influential".[11]

In a 2008 interview with The Atlantic, Black defended BMSK against campaign ads made by opposing John McCain. The ads asserted that Black "made millions lobbying for the world's worst tyrants".[12] Black described how his lobbying firm "ran every potential foreign client by the State Department and/or the White House in whatever administration was in power and asked whether the scope of the work fit with American foreign policy goals."[11] During the Reagan administration, then-President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos was one of Black's clients until Marcos "tried to steal the election" and "Reagan pulled the plug... [BMSK] resigned the account the same day".[11] When Zaire's Mobuto Sese Seko was his client, the "State Department was encouraging [Mobuto] to hold parliamentary elections and [BMSK] firm advised Sese Seko on how to conduct such elections." However, when Mobutu rejected the election results and became a dictator, BMSK resigned.[11]

By 2008, BMSK & Associates was owned by Burston Marsteller, and was run by Mark Pennit. BMSK's CEO was R. Scott Pastrick who was a former treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and a supporter of Hillary Clinton's.[11]

Prime Policy Group is the result of the merger of two lobby firms in Washington in 2010, Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly & Associates Worldwide and Timmons and Company.

Prime Policy Group represents large companies, trade and industry associations, foreign governments, state governments and municipalities, including Airbus and Google.[13][4]


  1. ^ "Charlie Black Inducted into AAPC Hall of Fame". Prime Policy Group. Archived from the original on November 2, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Whitford, David (June 28, 2008). "The evolution of John McCain". Fortune. Archived from the original on 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2017. As a maverick Senator, he took pride in just saying no to everyone's wish list. But as a presidential contender, he's become a tax cutter and defender of home mortgages. The inside story of how the candidate is shaping his plan to fix the economy.
  3. ^ a b "Charlie Black". Prime Policy Group. 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Peters, Jeremy W. (April 18, 2016). "Potential G.O.P. Convention Fight Puts Older Hands in Sudden Demand". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved April 19, 2016.
  5. ^ a b McAllister, D.C. (March 31, 2016). "Trump Hires Political Insider For Convention Fight". The Federalist. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Ponder, Jon (June 27, 2008). "10 Thing to Know About Charlie Black". Pensito Review. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  7. ^ Helms' "Hands" anti-affirmative action campaign ad on YouTube, item KIyewCdXMzk
  8. ^ a b Edsall, Thomas B. (May 14, 2012). "The Lobbyist in the Gray Flannel Suit". The New York Times Blog. The Opinion Page. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  9. ^ "A Political Power Broker". The New York Times. Washington. June 20, 1989. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  10. ^ "Registration with the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)" (PDF). Department of Justice. August 1982. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e Ambinder, Marc (May 17, 2008). "Charlie Black On His Lobbying Career". The Atlantic. Retrieved June 16, 2017. ...campaign by liberal watchdog and political groups to pressure McCain into dumping Black, now a top McCain campaign strategist. Today, MoveOn's political action fund released a video accusing Black of lobbying "for some of the world's worst tyrants.
  12. ^ " Fire Charlie Black". The New York Times. 2008 Election Campaign. May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2017. MoveOn Ads "John McCain says we're fighting in Iraq to plant the seeds of democracy. But the firm of his chief political adviser, Charlie Black, made millions lobbying for the world's worst tyrants. Men known for torturing their own people, mass murder and looting their country's wealth. Charlie Black said he didn't do anything wrong. John McCain should tell Black he did. Call John McCain and tell him to fire Charlie Black. Political Action is responsible for the content of this advertisement."
  13. ^ "Our Clients". Prime Policy Group. 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2016.

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