Pro-Obama super PAC turns tapes into ad
September 19th, 2012
07:58 AM ET
2 years ago

Pro-Obama super PAC turns tapes into ad

(CNN) – Priorities USA, the super PAC pushing for President Barack Obama's re-election, is using clips of a secretly recorded Mitt Romney fund-raiser in a new television ad to characterize the GOP presidential nominee as out of touch with Americans' economic struggles.

The group said Wednesday the commercial would air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin, all battlegrounds that Obama won in the 2008 election and hopes to take again in November.

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The spot begins with a narrator setting up the clips of Romney, which were secretly recorded in May and this week were posted on the website of the liberal magazine Mother Jones.

Over a photo of a mansion, a narrator says, "Behind these doors Mitt Romney calls half the American people…"

Romney's own voice takes over, saying "…dependent upon government, who believe they are victims."

"Victims?" the narrator asks incredulously. A midsized suburban home pops on screen, and the narrator continues, "Behind these doors, middle-class families struggle. And Romney will make things even tougher. Raising taxes by up to $2,000 to give multi-millionaires a $250,000 tax break."

Romney's voice comes on again, saying at the fund-raiser, "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility."

The narrator concludes, "And Mitt Romney will never convince us he's on our side."

In the clips, Romney is heard making the prediction that nearly half of Americans will vote for Obama because they rely on government support. They were recorded at a May 17 event in Boca Raton, Florida, at the home of Sun Capital executive Marc Leder.

The person responsible for the material said he or she wishes to remain anonymous for "professional reasons and to avoid a lawsuit," according to the Huffington Post, which also published the tapes.

In an interview Tuesday, Romney stood by his words, saying they accurately reflected his campaign's message.

"This is a message I'm carrying day in and day out and will carry over the coming months," Romney said on Fox News. "This is a decision about the course of America, where we're going to head."

"This week we learned that Mitt Romney will not stand up for students, veterans, seniors and hardworking Americans looking to make ends meet," Bill Burton, a co-founder of Priorities USA Action, wrote in a statement accompanying the ad's release. "Mitt Romney's plan to raise taxes on the middle class would stall economic growth and while protecting the safety net for the wealthiest like himself. We cannot move forward if we do not put the middle class first."

In August, Priorities announced they were shifting from their previous strategy of focusing on Romney's career at the private equity firm Bain Capital to a new effort casting Romney's policy proposals as bad for the middle class. The group says they'll spend a total of $30 million to run ads as part of this new effort, which includes Wednesday's commercial.

Priorities spent $20 million on a project attacking Romney's business career, including in a much-maligned spot that linked Romney to the death of a coal worker's wife. The coal worker, Joe Soptic, worked at a plant that closed after being acquired by Bain Capital. That ad never ran as a paid spot on television, aside from an airing resulting from a station error, though it did run frequently on cable news programs as part of news coverage of the presidential campaign.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Romney told the TRUTH!

    That's something the Democrats can't STAND!

    September 19, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  2. Willie K.

    I hope someone asks Romney in the debates when the last time he personally bought a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. I would bet that he has never had to go to the grocery store for himself in his life, as he was born rich and has always had servants to do the menial work for him. That is one reason why he is so out of touch with the average person and the challenges we face on a daily basis. It is not that he is a bad person, it is just that he has only been exposed to the country club crowd and their opinions. Obama is rich now, but at least he grew up in an average family which faced the same problems the average American faces today.

    September 19, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  3. ST

    Romney can stand firm to what he said, BUT am sorry to say he is not a good thinker. Any good leader is expected to think above those he is anticipating to lead. If he is not, the way it has shown on a leaked video, am afraid to say, that person can't lead. These are first signals what we can witness to follow if he becomes the leader.

    September 19, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  4. Kel from Bham AL

    Nail number 3 in Mitt Romney's political coffin. I don't mind rich people. I'll join their ranks one day. But THIS GUY doesn't seem to care about me since I voted for the President. And I pay plenty of taxes, Mitt. Obama 2012.

    September 19, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  5. Wake up People!

    If R & R can build their entire convention around a comment taken out of context then Willards candor is fair game. He said what he meant and he meant what he said. I don't know who all of these government dependent people are because everyone I associate with works. They aren't depending on the government for anything. But who would expect an idiot suffering from foot in mouth disease to understand the average American?

    And btw how do you get that free government cable I hear all the repubs screaming about??? Heck, I'll take that!

    OBAMA 2012!

    September 19, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Romney put his money in the Caymen's to avoid paying taxes, and condems people for not being able to find a job?

    The republican house of representatives has voted down every jobs bill - or attached an abortion bill to it.

    September 19, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  7. Wilson

    Even though he was taken out of context, Romney is right. There is no way I can vote for someone that believes it is fair to take more of the money I work really hard for, and give it to someone capable of working, but does not want to work. Redistribution from hard workers to lazy people, that is Obama's way, creating more democrat voters by making them dependent on the government.

    September 19, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  8. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    How can a guy who never lived a middle class life understand our struggle? He can't!!! I'll take a verse from a old Jay-Z song in which he says "you can't talk about it if you ain't live it." Willard never went to public school, never served in the Armed Forces, never lived paycheck to paycheck, etc.

    September 19, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  9. Eddie

    The beginning of the end for a decade long campaign

    September 19, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  10. plain&simple

    The only flipping Romney is doing now is at the working class and It's a big flop.

    September 19, 2012 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. Obama needs to go

    The add is yet another attack ad from Democrats. Yet they are unable to challenge the idea that supporters of Obama, sure not all, but I feel most, believe that the government owes them. We've seen it all first hand how they play the victim. How they demand that the government fix their problems. Be in denial if you wish, but you know it's true.

    September 19, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. palval

    To Bill Burton of Priorities: What middle class? Mitt Romney is endeavoring to recreate one. His statement about the 47% makes 100% sense.

    September 19, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  13. Time for Real Journalism

    It's funny; Mitt Romney never denies that he meant 47% of Americans lack personal responsibility, and now he says it will the basis of his campaign, but CNN's John King is just convinced he knows better than Mitt Romney what Mitt Romney meant. Thanks John King, and CNN, for playing spin control on behalf of Mitt Romney.

    September 19, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Monica M

    This is why I can't stand elections, can both parties please stop rushing to throw blame and blows at one another long enough to see that this is OUR lives your campaigning to lead over. I don't care if Mitt thinks alot of voters will go with Obama because they want a hand out, because it's partially true. Why are we being all surprised, as if we didn't know governemental handouts make spoiled people. Do the American people a favor candidates and media grow up and show us the real plans these guys have for our future.

    September 19, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. myviewis

    And they're at it again. Trying to make voters believe a lie. No difference between using clips which on their own sound bad unlike hearing the whole conversation, questions and answers that were taking place at the fund-raiser. I can see why President Obama prohibits anyone from taping him at fund-raisers. This is tricking the voters.

    Play the whole video in the ad.

    "using clips of a secretly recorded Mitt Romney fund-raiser" is no different than "a much-maligned spot that linked Romney to the death of a coal worker's wife. The coal worker, Joe Soptic"

    September 19, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. Ray E. (Georgia)

    So what. Romney spoke the truth, I.E. The cold hard facts of life. Nothing Romney said is a deep dark secret. Obama is an empty suit and has no plan except to tax the rich. If people like what they have today Obama's their man. Not for me.

    September 19, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  17. linda

    Romney has no idea what the poor and middle class are going through, and he will not be a President for the poor and middle class, he is going to take away what we do have and give to himself and rich friends and where does that leave us......talk about redistrabustion........the GOP has really turned their backs on the lest among us and now the middle class as well......but they claim they are the true Christrians in this country......GOP has a long and hard road to travel to get back the support of this country, back to being the Grand Old Party they used to be.....but they have let the far right consevative tea baggers take over their party, the republicans would have been better off distancing themselves from these idiots and letting them create their own Party......as it is I will never vote Republican again until they stop pandering to these extremists......

    September 19, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. ShawnDH

    Good, honest ad.

    Romney revealed his real self, and it ain't pretty.

    September 19, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. BLKMANinAmerica

    GOOD, go President Obama, keep this message going the American people deserve to hear it over and over again.

    September 19, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Lionel

    Great job. Keep the pressure up on Mitt. He is the one who did not pay taxes.

    So does that mean that he does not care about himself. Tax loopholes for Mitt Robme needs to be fixed.

    Latinos for Obama 2012

    September 19, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |