Ad about an ad: Romney campaign ad responds to controversial pro-Obama ad
August 10th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Ad about an ad: Romney campaign ad responds to controversial pro-Obama ad

(CNN) – The Romney campaign attacked President Barack Obama's character in a new advertisement Friday linking him and his campaign directly to a controversial ad produced by pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action.

Titled "America Deserves Better," the commercial responds to the super PAC ad released Tuesday that draws a connection between the death of a steelworker's wife and Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, his former venture capital firm. Bain bought GST steel in 1993 and then closed it down in 2001, causing steelworker Joe Soptic, among others, to lose their jobs and their health care benefits.

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The Priorities ad has aired in television news and discussion segments since it was announced but has not yet run in a paid commercial time slot.

An in-depth analysis of the Priorities' ad by CNN called out the ad's timeline – pointing out that Soptic lost his job at GST in 2001 and his wife didn't become ill until 2006.

The new Romney campaign commercial uses images of the president, a member of his staff, and images from the original Priorities ad to present their rebuttal.

The announcer begins by asking viewers, "What does it say about a president's character when his campaign tries to use the tragedy of a woman's death for political gain?"

"A president's character?" the announcer continues.

A headline from an editorial titled, "Scraping Bottom" then scrolls onto the screen, followed by another headline spliced to say, "Disgusting."

The announcer then says, "What does it say about a president's character when he had his campaign raise money for the ad then stood by as his top aides were caught lying about it?"

Another portion of a headline pops up onto the screen, "Obama Campaign Admits Knowing," referring to the president's campaign's knowledge of the super PAC ad. Initially, members of the Obama campaign had denied knowledge of the details of Soptic's wife's loss of health insurance, but reporters later noted a May Obama campaign conference call where the story came up.

It is illegal for super PAC's and the campaigns they support to communicate or coordinate. Obama staffers have repeatedly denied involvement or coordination with the super PAC ad.

"Unfair Attack," is the next headline to scroll across the screen in the new ad.

"Doesn't America deserve better than a president who will say or do anything to stay in power?" says the announcer.

"Doesn't America Deserve Better?" reads text on the screen, followed by Romney's verbal stamp of approval for the content in the ad.

In a statement released with the ad, the Romney campaign reiterated a line used by Romney and top Republican surrogates while campaigning throughout the country over the past week: "President Obama cannot run on his record, so he is committed to tearing down Mitt Romney."

"His campaign tried to use the tragedy of a woman's death for political gain. Then, his top aides were caught lying about it. Doesn't America deserve better than a president who will do anything to stay in power?" the release stated.

Bill Burton, co-founder of the super PAC responsible for the ad, said he "absolutely" stands by the spot in an interview with CNN Thursday.

"The point of this ad is to tell the story of one guy, Joe Soptic, and the impact on his life that happened for years, and to this day, as a result of decisions that Mitt Romney made," Burton said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." "This is one of a series of ads in which we talk about the very long lasting impacts that Mitt Romney's decision had on these communities, on these individuals and their families."

CNN's Ashley Killough, Paul Steinhauser and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Babyboomer

    Are they kidding?? Do they really want to have a character debate???. Mr. and Mrs. "You People" know all you need to know about our taxes??? I hope they are stupid enough to bring it. Obama/Biden 2012

    August 10, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. Laverne

    This is a superPAC add and not the Obama adminstration. Romney and his camp has some nerve after all the lying, negative ads his superPACs have ran against Obama. I can't wait until these two debate one another, than is when the real contrast will show.

    August 10, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. Mike in Texas

    Romney keeps fighting a losing battle. Romney, show some character and release more tax returns.
    Show some character and stand up the fringe right of your party.

    Romney......Liar, coward, hypocrite....The triple crown.

    August 10, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  4. Bill

    The Romney campaign is really starting to show its desperation. And it is still August. What a hoot.

    August 10, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. Mr. Moderate

    So the party that has succeeded in convincing a significant portion of their base that the president is a foreign-born, Muslim, socialist feels they have any grounds to be outraged about character attacks? Wow. And Mitt, how is this any different than they way you destroyed Newt in Florida? One difference is that it showed how Romney's business practices did have very real consequences on very real people. Stop whining Mitt!

    August 10, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "The announcer then says, "What does it say about a president's character when he had his campaign raise money for the ad then stood by as his top aides were caught lying about it?""

    Ummm, he didn't have his campaign raise money for the ad. It was raised by a PAC, which is forbidden and prohibitted from communicating or coordinating strategy with Obama's campaign. Ergo, this is a blatantly false accusation that Obama's campaign and that PAC broke the law, which would expose them to criminal prosecution AND THERE IS NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THAT THE PAC AND OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN COORDINATED ANYTHING AT ALL. This ad should be immediately pulled off the air. If they want to criticize it, that's fine, but they need to correct the language they use, which is clearly and unarguably designed to insinuate precisely what I just explained.

    August 10, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mitt Romney claims President Obama is attacking Mitt Romney's character by releasing a Romney ad attacking President Obama's character?

    I don't know GOPers. I just don't think that a "rubber and glue" defense is a winning strategy.

    August 10, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Tony

    America deserves the truth. Man up, Romney, and release your tax returns. If you think the rich need more tax cuts, show us how much taxes rich people like you are paying in the first place.

    August 10, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. v_mag

    So, how many times is it that Rob-money has said he has no control over the super-pacs that have put up bogus attack ads? Yet he whines because a pro-Obama group puts up an ad he doesn't like?

    The important part is that the Rob-money thugs don't take issue with the fact that Bain, Rob-money's company, laid this guy off which lead to loss of health insurance and contributed to the death of his wife. That's a fact, just like Bush/Cheney lies about WMD led to the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis, not to mention thousands of American deaths. Rob-money's actions have consequences, and he is indirectly responsible for this death.

    August 10, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Lemone

    The fact still remains that Mr. Spotic still lost his job due to Bain which Robme was the CEO and supposed to be Mr. Job Creator!

    August 10, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Ossobo

    The memories of GOP Pimaries are still fresh. Do we remember how Mitt treated his fellows republicans??? Ask Newton Gengrich that called Mitt "a Liar".
    No worries, his tasting his own poison.
    Dems, PLEASE keep the pressure till the end.

    August 10, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. Joseph B

    Doesn't Romney understand that Super PACs and campaigns cannot coordinate? Or are we going to have another Romney issue in the future? Romney is not ready for prime time.

    August 10, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Obama has as much character as he does leadership quality... ZILCH. And he's surrounded himself with slimeballs which pretty much proves the point.

    August 10, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Has Mittens "RETROACTIVELY RETIRED" as the GOVERNOR of MA back to before he signed ROMNEYCARE???

    "If you can't handle the heat in this little kitchen, the heat that's going to come from Obama's Hell's Kitchen is going to be a heck of a lot hotter,"

    That would be a direct quote from Mitt the Twit to Chuck Todd when the Grinch was whining about negative ads put out by a pro-Robme super pac.

    "But, continued Gingrich, reading the Politico account, when Scarborough pressed Romney on whether he would call on the group, Restore Our Future, to stop running attack ads against Gingrich, Romney demurred, claiming that he is “not allowed to communicate with the super PAC in any way, shape or form.”

    Again, a direct quote from Mitt the Twit about super pacs and negative ads.

    Words, he now wants President Obama to ignore and contact a super pac supporting and denounce the negative ad,

    Note to Mittens:You are in Hell's Kitchen right now!

    "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander"!

    Class, can you guess who made that statement, anyone?

    August 10, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Expat American

    Republicans are obsessed with Values and Character all wrapped up in an American flag with a maraschino cherry and Bible on top; yet looked the other way when the most criminal adminstration in the history of the United States did their dirty deeds.

    August 10, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Airpuff_2000

    Mitt Romney is responsible for killing that woman with cancer, and he ought to just face up to it. He should stop hiding behind his advisors and trying to blame the President because his campaign has been unable to prevent the truth about Romney from coming out.

    August 10, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. John, PA

    WOW get ad, the truth always hurts Obama, 89 days and Obama can begin packing his bags.

    August 10, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. NotFooledByDistractions

    Wow, is willard running for president of the US or president of a junior high class? His ad reeks of desperation and sliding poll numbers. romney can dish it but he sure can't take it – it appears that the obama camp has bruised willards thin skin.

    August 10, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. Jake

    Tax Time Mitt, Tax Time Mitt, Tax Time Mitt. WE ARE WAITING. Tax Time Mitt, Tax Time Mitt, Tax Time Mitt....the chanting gets louder and louder...Tax Time Mitt, Tax.......

    August 10, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. pntherpaw86

    Another day, another Romney lie.

    August 10, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Jake

    Hi, I'm Mitt Romney and I believe in America, but not to keep mony in it. I prefer the Caymans, Bermuda, and the always reliable, Swiss Bank.

    Sometimes I take a trip there to visit my money, make sure it all there, every penny. I also makes my heart glow.

    August 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. CryBabies

    Burton is full of BS....Bain saved that struggling plant until the Chinese started dumping steel on the US market. Many other steel companies also closed in that same time period due to lower cost Chinese steel. If not for Bain, Joe Soptic would have been out of a job alot earlier.

    August 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Ray

    Romney is making a big mistake talking about character. Wow. This is a guy that doesn't have a core. This is a guy that favor the draft but received 5 deferment. flip flop on every issues. I'll let the rest of blogger to this list,

    August 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    Willard is still having a sad and crying. Stop whining, you said politics was rough and tumble back in the primaries. Once you publicly denounce your own ads about religion and welfare, then making you'll have a leg to stand on. But since Willard lies with such impunity, he really needs to keep quiet and worry about his own sinking campaign.

    No tax returns, no votes. Put up or shut up wimpy Willard.

    August 10, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Etch-A-Sketch Mitt RobMe Hood Out-sourcing-Jobs Outsourcing-his-Money and Outsourcing America

    ROBME HOOD put up or shut up! SHOW YOUR TAX RETURNS!!!

    August 10, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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