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.

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"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. Phil

    This add Approved by the Obama administration is very insulting and just dirty politics. They have no grounded evidence that it is true and therefore shouldn't say it. The president of the U.S. just called those men "Props" nice Obama, you don't care who you insult, disrespect or tear down if it gives you a shot at Romney. The VP said it wasn't mandatory then it wasn't mandatory. And what do you expect coal miners to look like? Huge fake grins while they stand there? This is crazy, vote this fool out of office. I am so tired of Obama and his empty promises. I'd take Clinton and his Adultery that practically got him impeached over Obama any day!

    October 3, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Romney Said Let Them Eat Cake

    Everyone that supports Romney is a prop. Props are used then thrown away or stored until they can be used again.
    @sassysticks53: I like your comment.

    October 3, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. usa

    This is petty. Our president has nothing better to do than to nit-pick a Romney ad. He's our president – and our flags and embassies are being burned and our servicemen tortured and murdered. He is a disgrace.

    October 3, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. incredulous

    What safety reasons? Bottom line these men didn't get paid and Romney doesn't care.

    October 3, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. NameJade77

    I can't believe what I'm reading! Destruction of America! You don't even know what America is. We all share in this country. Everyone has a story to tell about America good and bad. Most of us live this country and would die for it. It's not your America. Stop being so inclusive. That's the problem! "if it's not going your way then it's wrong."

    October 3, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. w l jones

    So what coal is nothing but dehyrate oil after million of years!

    October 3, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "And Obama surrounded himself with folks in white coats.....some actually Doctors, when he was selling his biggest disaster-Obamacare.They were definitely PROPS."

    Do you have trouble udnerstanding the difference between "mandatory" and "voluntary"?

    October 3, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    -Ancient Texan

    And Obama surrounded himself with folks in white coats.....some actually Doctors, when he was selling his biggest disaster-Obamacare.They were definitely PROPS.
    ***********************
    My brother-in-law is a doctor, he supports the ACA, and he would never be described as a prop. Neither would my niece or nephew, who also support the ACA, and are also doctors. The point is, my brother-in-law was never told to attend a political event as part of his job: those miners were told to attend, and they were not even paid for the time spent making Romney look like he cares for a lower social caste. They were bullied into attending, plain and simple. Your comparison is not even remotely valid.

    October 3, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    will romney wear orange spraypaint tonite?

    October 3, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Sandy

    Ancient Texan

    And Obama surrounded himself with folks in white coats.....some actually Doctors, when he was selling his biggest disaster-Obamacare.They were definitely PROPS.
    ___________

    Except they weren't MADE to do it without pay.

    October 3, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. Chipster

    If the mine was closed that day for safety reasons, why are their faces smudged with coal dust? Bush used our military on the USS Abraham Lincoln as a prop for his bogus "Mission Accomplished" sign. President Obama accomplished the mission! Romney/Ryan would bust their union and pay them less for the risk they take doing this dangerous work. Plus, the biggest EPA rules, including one that controls mercury and other air toxic pollution from coal plants, were first enacted by Republican administrations with Democrat support, including President George H.W. Bush! Miners want jobs but they also want clear air and water for their children and grandchildren!

    October 3, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. g

    most don,t live long, never collect their pensions

    October 3, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. jaimie

    Romney ....... No honesty no integrity

    October 3, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. jaimie

    Romneyhood ........ Give to the Rich take from the poor

    October 3, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. MTATL67

    So it wasn't the company but the companies managers that made the miner go and it was the mangers not the company that didn't pay them....hhhhmmm

    October 3, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. 1twinsfan

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

    Dude, President Obama is attacking your livelihood? Romney isn't even in the WH, isn't even the President elect and he's already cost you a day's pay.

    October 3, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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