Ad about an ad: Romney campaign ad responds to controversial pro-Obama ad
August 10th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
2 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. kayla

    the president playing chess, the twitt checkers

    August 10, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "A president's character?" the announcer continues.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Two scenarios.
    Scenario ONE:
    Priorities USA is a Super Pac.
    Priorities USA came up with this ad, that I might add, has yet to AIR.
    The rule is that campaigns do not contribute to, coordinate with, nor are they responsible for the actions of Pacs.
    So why are you trying to make out like the President is responsible for this ad?

    Scenario TWO:
    The President got wind of the ad and......NIXED IT. Which might explain why it HASN'T AIRED you Twit.

    August 10, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. CryBabies

    @ Jake....I agree, 10 years taxes for Obamas sealed college records (applications and grades). Why would a guy, the President of the U.S., spend enormous amonts of money ( $1,000,000.00+) to keep those under wraps from the American public? If you want to talk about hiding things, lets start there.....shall we? And we are really not interested in his grades!

    August 10, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. vic , nashville ,tn

    Mitt this is not respond ad , just you’re saying I couldn’t fight back because I can’t hide my past like my tax return

    August 10, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    All I took from RMoney camp was that Romneycare = good, therefore the ACA being national is better. Thanks for pointing that out. Now about character, mitt the twit says he'd take away people's access to affordable health care so there would be more death....poor character on Wil-liard's part, indeed. America does deserve better, that's why we're going with Obama AGAIN.

    August 10, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Investment Advisor

    Joseph B...If you're naive enough to believe that, try tap dancing on soft ice cream.

    August 10, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Mikey

    What does it say about your character when you denegrate someone else's character by lying about something they didn't do. Part of the whole problem with Super PACs is that they are independant of the candidates, which makes them able to do all kind of stuff without the candidate being reponsible. Obama is not allowed to coordinate with the Super PAC. That's the law. He is also not involved in fundraising. We should change the laws and get the big money out of politics – but you know the GOP isn't going to go for that.

    August 10, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    If I were Romney, or his Super Pacs, I wouldn't bring up the subject of character...or taxes...or wealth... or religion... or jobs...or horses... or car elevators...

    August 10, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Obama has lowered the office of the Presidency into the gutter. What else would you expect from a corrupt Chicago thug politician. He's pulled dirty sleazy stuff in EVERY campaign he has been in. JUST ASK BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON!! Or should I say that racist Bill Clinton?

    August 10, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. What a Joke!

    Ask Romney's Primary opponents about his character and they will tell you he has no ethics and is a liar – Gingerich and Santorum both stated this!

    August 10, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  11. NameThomas A. Johnson

    Who really cares what he paid in taxes I'll bet it was more than you.
    He is a finance man with excellent character I want him hired America.

    August 10, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Romney’s new attack ad prominently pictures the late Pope John Paul II, saying “Be not Afraid”...crassly trying to garner some " posthumous "endorsements. But not being a Christian, Mitt probably don’t realize that.the Pope was merely quoting Jesus Christ -who ALSO said:"it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Mitt: i'd be VERY afraid...for your soul.

    August 10, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. California Gary

    You're right Mitt, America does deserve better........better than someone who uses a super pac to slime his primary opposition, claiming to have no control over it, and then blaming the President when a super pac slimes him. Better than a man who changes virtually every position he has ever held to gain a nomination under false pretenses. Better than a man who has to hide and lie about all of his financial dealings. Better than a man who ventures onto the world stage and embarrasses us. We have better Mitt.......his name is Obama.

    August 10, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Joseph B

    Does this mean Romeny stands behing everything his Super PAC does?

    August 10, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    America does deserve better, that's why we're going with Obama AGAIN.
    -------------------------------------------------
    That was for you Fair is Fair.
    BAM!

    August 10, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Another set of lies from the Romney campaign. The ad about the woman's death came from a superPAC, not the Obama campaign. Meanwhile, the Romney campaign puts out attack ads that are riddled with lies.

    August 10, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Pastorspet

    Both these ads are rotten. Why do we as a people need to hear negative ads and scoff at ads about the true issues we the people face? In saying that I do have to say Romney's add is worse because it personally attacks not just Obama's record but also attacks his worthiness as a human being. Can we not do away with all negative name calling?

    August 10, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Character? I know the Romney campaign isn't going there. Willard continually touts how he's going to repeal Obamacare. Why would he do that when one of his campaign staffers says “To that point, if people had been in Massachusetts, under Gov. Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care.” So why would Willard want to repeal it? Obamacare is in fact Romneycare. Do you recall this conversation Willard:

    – 2006 — Q: Is this something you think Washington should consider for the whole country? ROMNEY: Well, there are some aspects of what we’re doing that could be applicable to the rest of the country.

    – 2007 — ROMNEY: Our program is based on a private model health insurance program and that model will work for the nation.

    – 2008 — Q: Although, you backed away from mandates on a national basis…? ROMNEY: No, no, I like mandates. The mandates work.

    – 2009 — Q: Should the President be looking at Massachusetts as a model for lowering health care costs? ROMNEY: Massachusetts is a model for getting everyone insured.

    You have the character flaw Willard. You're a liar!!!

    August 10, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. n

    Romney is the worst closet pansy in history. This guy must have a short term memory or he is with out a clue. typical rich kid, start trouble, point the finger and cries when it backfire. He is for sure the real "WUSS".

    August 10, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. 89 Days until Obama is RE-ELECTED

    Oh BEND, is the fact that NitMitt's campaign is going nowhere (as will his candidacy) getting you down. It's so typical of the right wing loonies to blame everyone else but the VERY folks that caused our problems ->> the Grand Obstructionist Party.
    Hate to break a little FACT for you.. look it up. The failed fiscal policies of Republicans since Reagan have caused this mess. Luckily, most Americans are smart enough to realize that and let Obama finish cleaning up your mess again!!

    August 10, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. teej

    You can't have everything both ways Mitt. Manipulating every situation to suit your desires is so beneath the intelligence of the electorate.

    August 10, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    Thomas A Johnson wrote: Who really cares what he paid in taxes I'll bet it was more than you. He is a finance man with excellent character I want him hired America.

    I do. So do 63% of voters. You see if he has already taken advantage of a system where pays a much lower percentage in taxes than the middle class, then most of the middle class has a problem with that and don't want him skewing that any more in his favor like he's proposed. If you want to continue subsidizng Mitt Romney for not paying his fair share that's your prerogative, but don't be crying about debts and deficits or welfare.

    As far as character, all we know is he is a serial liar who won't talk about his "private sector experience" now that he's been exposed to have been nothing more than a vulture capitalist. He won't talk about his gubernatorial stint in MA because he was not good at creating jobs and he initiated the individual mandate, oh I'm sorry - tax. He own't talk in detail about the Olympics because that was a federal pork project not to mention the SERIOUS conflict of interest he had during his retroactive retirement from Bain (as if anyone believes that). His character is shady at best and we can't get to know more because he's to chicken sh to release his returns. His character stinks to high heaven, some are just too blinded by hate of diversity to see it.

    August 10, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    Gracias Domincan Mama 4O !!!

    August 10, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. California Gary

    Actually kayla......I don't think the twit is in the game at all. Obama is playing chess and thinking ahead a good 6 or 7 moves.........the twit is just standing on the sidelines wondering what happened. Look for him to tip over the board and just go home any day now......

    August 10, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. enuff

    Does this man ever talk about issues facing americans or does he just sqwak about Obama? Where's the taxes Romney? Explain your role in Son of Boss and Marriott. Tell me what you PLAN TO DO about the economy... not just say you'll do "something".

    August 10, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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