Super PAC pulls ad after request from Olympic committee
July 26th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
10 years ago

Super PAC pulls ad after request from Olympic committee

(CNN) – The super PAC backing President Barack Obama will not air a television ad using archival footage of the Olympic Games after the U.S. Olympic Committee registered a complaint because of copyright concerns.

The minute long ad from Priorities USA used the Olympic "parade of nations" to mock Mitt Romney's reported overseas investment accounts, and was set to air in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia during broadcasts of the London Games, which begin Friday.

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In a statement, U.S. Olympic Committee Spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the ad flew against what the Olympics were all about.

"The Olympic Games are a celebration of friendship, excellence and respect," Sandusky wrote. "While we are absolutely confident that neither presidential candidate nor campaign has participated in the production or distribution of these negative ads, the attacks, using Olympic themes and images, need to stop."

He continued, writing "for anything even remotely negative to be associated with that time-honored, inspirational moment would be extremely unfortunate."

Earlier in the election cycle, Romney also had an ad on the airwaves with images of the Olympics in Salt Lake City. It ran at the beginning of December in Iowa and New Hampshire. While it was still online mid-afternoon Thursday, it no longer appeared on YouTube later that same day.

A U.S. Olympic Committee source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter, told CNN the group will ask any candidates using Olympic footage to stop airing them and ask YouTube to bring them down.

Later, in an official statement, the committee said its policies apply to "all political ads."

"Regarding Olympic footage, it pertains to all ads. We will not allow Olympic footage to be used in any political ad, positive or negative," Sandusky said.

The International Olympic Committee concurred. Sandrine Tonge, a media relations manager for the IOC, wrote, "The IOC does not allow footage of the Olympic Games or an association with the Olympic rings to be used for political purposes, in line with the Olympic Charter."

Bull Burton, a co-founder of Priorities USA, confirmed that the group was taking down the ad because of copyright concerns. He said the U.S. Olympic Committee called Wednesday and asked that the ad be removed.

"When we were told Mitt Romney and his allies were going to be held to the same standard we were more than happy to comply," Burton said.

The group said it has no plans to try to re-do the ad not using Olympics footage, and Burton added he believed the point of the ad was made.

ABC News first reported that Priorities USA was pulling its Olympic ad.

CNN's Kevin Bohn and Wade Payson-Denney contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. john

    well like every other election in recent history .. leave it to poor choice on ways to advertise.. the Olympics should be politics free.. and no images should be used by any party or interest group..

    July 26, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Great ad ,

    The guy who came up with the idea used to work for Karl Rove until they had a fight over Rick Perry.

    Small world !

    July 26, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. Mikey

    Can't wait for the images of the Romneys cheering on their million dollar horse – you know, the toy that they pretend is a tax deduction.

    You know how much Mitt likes "sport". Of couse, when your sports of choice are dressage and polo and you don't hang with the fans, but the multimillionaire NFL and NASCAR owners, you like "sport", not "sports" like regular Americans. You also might not recognize a donut when it is place on the table in front of you – like Mitt.

    July 26, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. josh gonzalez

    Its a hilarious ad. You can probably find it on youtube.

    July 26, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Hammerer

    Dems are grabbing at straws trying to find a subject that they can use to support the package that the media sold America in 2008.

    July 26, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Mikey

    @truth hurts – "where are all the ads about how great the unemployment rate is after 4 years and a trillion dollars down the dumper?"
    Would you like to graph the unemployment rate over the past four years against the four years after October 24, 1929? President Obama averted disaster with his stewardship of the TARP repayments, the stimulus, and the rescue of the auto industry. You should wake up every morning that our economy is not in complete chaos and thank God for President Obama. Then again, you probably would have wanted him to emulate Herber Hoover and "austarity" our enconomy into a second great depression. They didn't call homeless camps "Hoovervilles" for nothing. Perhaps we can elect Mitt and end up with "Romneyvilles" springing up all over America.

    July 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    Kris Craig
    .. Besides, the ad made a valid point: Mitt Romney has shipped countless jobs to China. It's a valid attack.
    Mitt Romney's experience saving American companies is a huge positive for what he is bringing to the job of President. It is difficult work in difficult situations and Bain Capital has been very successful. This has been good news for the American companies they have worked with, the employees of those companies, the communities those companies operate in and the American economy as a whole. You look awkward trying to make it a negative. Don't try so hard.

    July 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |

    @truth hurts – obama is toast and thanks to obama own words the world will hear it.
    Yes, the truth hurts doesn't it, and you Teapugs just cannot accept that Willard ain't gonna cut it. He's self-destructing in the UK, and will be slaughtered by Obama in the debates. Obama doesn't need the Super PAC's nor – as was pointed out above – control the content, nor required to approve of their ads. That would illegal.
    Yes, the truth hurts when you realize that your GOP candidate is toast!

    July 26, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. ih8work

    Funny how the gop forgets that they invented the negative ads. The olympic committee was banning the use of the olympics not what was stated in the ad. It isn't negative if it's true.

    July 26, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. Joi Gibson

    They made a political ad using Romney at the Olympics probably not thinking about the Olympics at all, but to attack Romney. They are a PAC – it is what they do. Don't act like Republican PAC's are all rosy and nice.

    July 26, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. 2020

    Patrick Sandusky, layoff. you know too well this ad is not about Olympics, it is about AMERICA'S OWN FUTURE.

    the ad didn't talk down the Olymics, but it questioned Romney's ambition abroad.

    His Swiss bank account, his offshore endeavor.

    Where is the rules of Olympics monopoly? Another Romney tactic?!

    July 26, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Can't wait for the images of the Romneys cheering on their million dollar horse – you know, the toy that they pretend is a tax deduction.
    I don't know about you, but I pay close attention to tax laws so that I pay all of the taxes that are required and don't pay taxes on things that the law gives deductions for. I hope Mitt Romney does the same. If your suggestion is that his tax accountant is operating outside of tax laws ( and don't even imagine that he does his own taxes ), do you think he has some special deal with the IRS so they don't bust him for it too? Or that a guy with his visibility has any chance in the world of "slipping one by" ?!?! You are grasping at straws. Is this the best you got?

    July 26, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "sure sounds like total agreement or surrender. no facts to rebut the assertion. the whole world knows the obama plan, it is no secret. why do you deny it? where are all the ads about how great the unemployment rate is after 4 years and a trillion dollars down the dumper?"

    Obama's policies are well explained, detailed and laid out both in his speeches and on his website. He's proposed numerous specific legislative initiatives and policy positions. This is undeniable. Thus, "negative" is NOT all he has.

    Mittens can claim none of that because he not only self-contradicts on a regular basis, but he also runs with his tail between his legs whenever asked for specifics, covering himself with ideological platitudes and vague cheerleader-esque talking points. He spends the majority of his time criticizing the president and saying nothing or detail or substance beyond "I'd do it better." This also cannot be denied, because to do so you'd have to cite specifics...of which there are none. Thus, he's a lackluster, pandering monkey who has no identity himself...let alone the ability to identify his own policy positions, which leaves him nothign but "Obama bad, me good"..i.e., you're projecting to claim that Obama's only got negativity.

    July 26, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  14. Peggy Munro

    Not really related but I need to say that the recent tragedy in Colorado that, through no fault of their own left victims facing unbelievable financial difficulties, due to medical costs is a perfect reason for Universal Medical Care. Affordable Care is a step in the right direction. Keep pushing.

    July 26, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. DumbasRocks [R]s

    OH, by all means, pull the ad. We wouldn't want to embarrass little Mittens with the TRUTH, now would we? Talk about 'politically correct'.....his rich buddies on the Olympic Committee coming to his rescue. No, of course not, let's not talk about something substantive that shines a light on the differences between the two candidates.

    [R]s are political cowards, hiding behind the skirts of 'political correctness'.

    [R]s are also intellectual cowards. Go ahead and reads some of the posts on here by these cretins, and search for any kind of analytical cogency. It will be a search in vain.

    And this is what 50% of our country wants as leadership? Is it any wonder that Teatards don't believe in evolution?....there is little sign that they have partaken in it.

    July 26, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. malcolm Spence

    they should have known this was going to be an issue. The OOC manages the brand very tightly.

    July 26, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    truth hurts – Guess you didn't read (or can't read) the part where the thread says the Romney Pac was using Olympic footage back in DECEMBER. Ignorant fool.

    July 26, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. jnpa

    If the Olympics should be politics-free, then why is Romney there? He is using this opportunity to flaunt himself to the British government, and not very successfully I might add!

    July 27, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Regarding Olympic footage, it pertains to all ads. We will not allow Olympic footage to be used in any political ad, positive or negative," Sandusky said."

    Wanna bet Mitt uses his attendance at the "Opening Ceremony" footage in one of his ads? It is, after all, why he went to London to attend the opening ceremony to begin with, sticking his nose into something which didn't concern him one way or another. Especially now that he is on record as stating that he won't be watching his and Ann's dancing horse strut it stuff at $77,000 a step - give or take a few thousand each step in horse business deductions.

    July 27, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Ed1

    As always Obama and his clowns do something stupid no surprise here just being himself no leadership some things never change but we can make a change in November 4 and out the door we can't afford his out of control spending.

    Are you sure Biden didn't have anything to do with this too.

    July 27, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Libertarian

    Leave it to a politician to think that they are above copyright laws.

    July 27, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Bob

    "U.S. Olympic Committee Spokesman Patrick Sandusky" – now theres an unfortunate name, these days...

    July 27, 2012 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wanna bet Mitt uses his attendance at the "Opening Ceremony" footage in one of his ads?
    It would be a sucker's bet Lynda!

    July 27, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. jersey_boy_weeee

    Why does Obama attack Romney’s business past? I would love to learn how to protect, invest, and make my money grow just like Romney. Just think if the government and we 99 percent folks did what Romney does with his money. Gee we would be on easy street. We wouldn’t need the Dem and Obama handouts and the Dem’s would have no successful self made 1 percent people to attack. We would all be 1 percent-ers ..wait we would all be 100 pecent-ers.

    July 27, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. pa2hunter

    they should pull it because it is nothing but lies that have been debunked by every news org and fact check org.

    July 27, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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