Obama calls miners in Romney ad 'props'
October 3rd, 2012
12:22 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama calls miners in Romney ad 'props'

(CNN) – The latest salvo in the battle for coal country is an ad from President Barack Obama's campaign, which accuses Mitt Romney of using miners as "props" at a campaign rally that was subsequently used in a television commercial.

The spot, which CNN's ad tracker CMAG identified as airing in the Youngstown, Ohio media market, slams Romney for a commercial released last month.

Tune to CNN for Wednesday's presidential debate coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV, CNN.com and via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Web users can become video editors with a new clip-and-share feature that allows them to share favorite debate moments on Facebook and Twitter.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"See the coal miners in these ads?" a narrator asks. "They were told that attendance at Mitt Romney's rally was 'mandatory.' Their mine was closed and they lost pay they needed. All to be props in Romney's commercial."

Text at the end of the ad drives home the point: "Mitt Romney: Not one of us."

The commercial in question uses footage from an August rally Romney held at the Century Mine in Ohio, which is owned by Murray Energy. In the spot, he's pictured standing in front of miners questioning the president's record on energy.

"We have 250 years of coal. Why wouldn't we use it?" Romney asks in the spot.

The workers in the spot later complained to a local radio host that they were forced to attend the rally and weren't paid for the time they spent standing behind Romney.

Rob Moore, an executive vice president at Murray Energy, told CNN affiliate WTOV those accusations were false.

"Those are baseless claims and accusations that are intended to silence Murray Corporation from speaking out against the Obama administration," Moore said, adding that the mine was shut down on the day of Romney's visit for safety reasons.

"I did not say that the event was mandatory," Moore continued. "I said certain managers may have stated the event was mandatory and maybe they selected bad words. Bottom line is no one was forced to attend the event."

The Obama ad is the latest in a series of spots targeting workers in Ohio's coal country. Two coal-focused Romney campaign ads released two weeks ago aired in the Charleston, West Virginia, media market, which includes part of southern Ohio, and the Wheeling, West Virginia, – Steubenville, Ohio, market, according to CMAG.

Those two ads featured coal miners venting frustration at Obama's policies, which one said are "attacking my livelihood."

And last week, Romney's campaign released its third ad targeting Obama's coal industry record, saying the Democrat was hurting job creation.

Ohio is a key battleground in November's election. A poll released Wednesday showed Obama with an eight point lead over Romney, 51%-43%. A CNN Poll of Polls which averages three recent surveys in the Buckeye State indicates Obama at 52% and Romney at 43%.


Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Energy • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. truth hurts

    Obama and his green agenda wants to put ALL of the coal miners out of work. Coal is even more evil than oil in the leftists book. Yes Obama, the truth does hurt. You want to destroy their livlihood. Don't be too upset when they don't vote for you.

    October 3, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    "I said certain managers may have stated the event was mandatory and maybe they selected bad words. Bottom line is no one was forced to attend the event."
    -----------------------------------------------–
    This ad is really going to hurt Willard's campaign. I find the compnaies excuse hard to believe. Just from watching the coal miners, you can tell fromm the look on their faces that they're bieng used as guinea pigs. So shameful Willard. But you know how the saying goes: Fake it til you make it.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABTETH WAREN 2012 & BEYOND

    October 3, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. Dave

    Coal is filthy stuff, there is no such thing as "clean Coal" . That being said, no one is actually against Coal, just the pollution it causes. Regulations to bring in better "scrubbers" do not destroy jobs...just forces the users to better protect the public. If they make a slightley LESS of an obscene profit it is no matter.

    October 3, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    OK...let's see the workers pay stubs then. If they didn't want to go and didn't get paid for that day, game over Flip

    October 3, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. MR.CANADA

    Riots in Iran over U.S sanctions . OBAMA ZINGER.

    October 3, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. sassysticks53

    @truth – judging from the photo, I'd say those coalminers have no intention of voting for the guy standing there lying to them; plus they were forced to stand there! Yup, looks like the truth does hurt (Romney).

    October 3, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. gt

    i wonder if obama will use his amos and andy dialect tonight like he did in the speech in 2007....

    October 3, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Ind.

    The destruction of America is at hand.

    Stop it now, Vote Romney/Ryan 2012

    October 3, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Malory Archer

    "I did not say that the event was mandatory," Moore continued. "I said certain managers may have stated the event was mandatory and maybe they selected bad words. Bottom line is no one was forced to attend the event."

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    In other words, it was mandatory.

    October 3, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. usa

    Now he's insulting miners ! Like these men don't have a mind of their own? Obama is the most divisive president in history!

    October 3, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. jane

    Yeah, they all look Real Happy to be standing there. This Was unusual for Romney appearances though – usually the people standing behind him Have been paid (and bused in) to stand behind him. ;-)

    October 3, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Critical Thinking

    hmmm, union people who work hard, put their lives on the line to produce an energy product that keeps this nation going are props? really? this president is sooooooooooooooooo outr of touch.

    It's time : BO MUST GO !

    October 3, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    usa

    Now he's insulting miners ! Like these men don't have a mind of their own? Obama is the most divisive president in history!

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    From the article: The workers in the spot later complained to a local radio host that they were forced to attend the rally and weren't paid for the time they spent standing behind Romney.

    Reading really IS fundamental!

    October 3, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. 200 TON HAMMER

    Prop goes the romney PROP goes weasel romney mittens ha ha ha ha.

    October 3, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. DJ

    The Obama campaign has been using people as props for a very long time...interesting that they would accuse Romney of something that they are fully guilty of doing!!

    October 3, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. truth hurts

    oh honestly... those do NOT look like the kind of guys that are going to do something they don't want to do. Obama is worthy enough to carry their water bottle, let alone get their vote.

    October 3, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Yanni

    Exploiting people because of their vulnerability because they could lose their job is a cruel thing. Apology and back pay must be warranted from Mitt campaign to these people for their humiliation and for their time. It is sad that many of these people are in the 47% bracket that Mitten doesn’t care for.

    October 3, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    All I know is that the people behind Romney do not look happy. They'd rather be elsewhere. Not a one is smiling.

    October 3, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Terry

    Wait a minute. If the mine was closed that day, why do a bunch of those miners have black all over their faces? Why are they dressed in dirty clothes and wearing miner helmets and such? Were they dressed up like that to look like they were just pulled from the mines? Something smells funny here.....

    October 3, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. Alex

    Something doesn't add up here: if the mine was shut down on that day as stated, even due to "safety reasons", then why are the faces of half of the men in the picture smudged with coal dust?

    Also, if just one manager stated the event was mandatory then, yes, people were forced to attend the event.

    October 3, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. virginia girl

    Nothing but lies and deceit. Shut down the plant for safty reasons? Yeah right who's safety? Not the workers, they didn't even get paid. Romney should have least paid them for the day but insted he blames Obama? Romney has another ad which has two minors against Obama. Those arn't even workers, they're the owner and CEO of the company. So, who do you believe? The hard working workers or the money hungry owners? Who's going to vote for Obama? My money's on the American workers!

    October 3, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    It's true. They were told by their employer, Murray Energy, that attendance was MANDATORY.

    And here's the kicker: THEY DID NOT RECEIVE PAY FOR THAT DAY AS A RESULT

    Murray has given over $500K to GOPers/Teatrolls this election cycle. So you see, in the GOP/Teatrolls' plutocratic dystopia, it's perfectly ok for your employer to mandate that you support the same politicians as he does and to not pay you for your time doing so. It dovetails so nicely with their plans to corner the market on rich voters and giant corporations' donations. The people, the middle-class, the poor, the vast majority of Americans...YOU AND YOUR VOTES ARE AN INCONVENIENCE TO THEM...and making you subject to your emlpoyers' whims as much as possible is past of their plan for perpetuating their power.

    October 3, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    Looks like a bunch of disgruntled employees. Just look at the guy in the second row, second from the left. He has the "Yeah Right" and the "Why the heck am I standing out here" look on his face. Poor guys had to listen to that stiff.

    October 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Bill

    Could be a scene from "The Hunger Games".

    October 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Silence DoGood

    All of Romney and Obama's appearances are 100% handcrafted and staged.
    Vote Green Party for a Change.

    October 3, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
1 2 3