Romney blasts Priorities' attack ad; spot still hasn't had paid runs
August 9th, 2012
02:52 PM ET
11 years ago

Romney blasts Priorities' attack ad; spot still hasn't had paid runs

(CNN) – Mitt Romney hammered President Barack Obama and his allies Thursday for running a campaign he said was "focused almost exclusively on personal attacks," though the harshest attack against the presumptive GOP nominee – an ad linking him to the loss of insurance and eventual death of a steel worker's wife – has yet to run as a paid TV advertisement.

"I am seeing some of the ads out there," Romney said on the Bill Bennett Morning Show on Thursday. "I don't know whatever happened to a campaign of 'hope and change.' I thought he was a new kind of politician. Instead his campaign and the people working with him have focused almost exclusively on personal attacks."

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Romney tore into the Priorities USA Action ad, released Tuesday, that ties him to the death of a former GST Steel worker's wife after the employee lost his job when the plant closed down. Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, acquired GST Steel in 1993, but the company went bankrupt in 2001, two years after Romney ceased day-to-day oversight of Bain.

The ad was deemed "inaccurate" by a CNN fact check, which pointed out the wife of the steel worker died in 2006, five years after the plant shut down.

"You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad," Romney said on the Bill Bennett radio show. "They were embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead. You know, the various fact checkers look at some of these charges in the Obama ads and they say that they're wrong and inaccurate, and yet he just keeps on running them."

One of Romney's campaign ads released this week, which blasts Obama for changes to welfare, was also deemed "inaccurate" by several independent fact checks, including a rating of "pants of fire" from Politifact. Romney did not mention those fact checks on Thursday.

Bill Burton, the co-founder of Priorities USA Action, said Wednesday he "absolutely" stood by the spot.

"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."

The uproar created by the Priorities USA commercial has led to numerous airings on cable news, but the spot has yet to run as a paid commercial on television.

The group Tuesday said the ad, titled "Understands," was part of their current $20 million television and online buy, and that the 60-second spot would run in the battleground states of Iowa, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio.

Burton wouldn't say on CNN Wednesday how much of that $20 million would be spent airing "Understands."

"Well, you know, it depends," Burton said. "Every ad is a little bit different. Sometimes you think that you want to keep an ad on longer, and so you do."

CNN's Brianna Keilar and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Ads • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Marie

    Dominican mama 4 Obama: I love you!!! Always on point...

    August 9, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Debra from Georgia

    Hey Mitt, would you like to have some cheese with that wine.

    August 9, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    I don't know it is for the rest of you, but Romney's whine is so instant laughter in my house.

    Should have been "I don't know how it is for the rest of you .... "

    August 9, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    If Mitt Romney would stop talking about it, then the "problem" would go away. Mitt does not handled the unforeseen very well. The mark of a good politician is being adept at handling the unforeseen. Romney has the problems the anticipated, like his tax returns.

    August 9, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. difoderit


    Om nom nom nom Payback Flakes stay crunchy in conservative tears.....

    Best comment I have ever read on this board ever!!!!- bravo to you sniffit

    August 9, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Jimmy

    Whine, Whine, Whine. Good God!

    August 9, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Expat American

    Personal Attacks?
    Look in the mirror Mitt and/or go buy yourself a pair of gold grapefruits.
    Oh, I forgot Vampires who suck the lives out of working people for a dollar don't cast a reflection.

    August 9, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. nick

    cant wait for the debates. Obama is gonna make mittens realy look like an idiot. obama 2012

    August 9, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Obama and Holder KILLED Brian Kelly, US Border Patrol Agent

    They should be charged, tried and jailed as accessories in the murder of this brave American.

    August 9, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. CBR

    Mr. Rlomney is the perfect example of the statements "Do as I say and not as I do. There are some pretty bad ads out there paid for by those supporting Mr. Romney. They are stretching the truth and hoping nobody catches them doing so. The ads have not been terribly=e shocking. Perhaps his skin is too thin.

    August 9, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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