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

    Somebody ask Mittler what news papers he reads and see if he can answer better than Sarah Palin.

    August 9, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Unbelievable, the guy who is raising more money both on his campaign and superpacs and buying the most expensive negative ads in U.S election history is whinning and complaining about the guy who spends less negative ads than him.
    It is now occuring to the twit that money doesn't buy everything including the most votes.

    August 9, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    When you have accomplished nothing that thew American people perceive as positive, you run nothing but personal attack ads. Just as Obama himself said in 2008. It is funny how he foretold his own future of failure and personal attack ads.

    Obama's Hope & Change has become Hoping to Change the Subject to Anything But His Record of Failure. Some leader...

    August 9, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Terri

    Dear Mitt-Wit – it's called "politics" and you damn well knew the game during the primary when you tore your opponents apart with everything in the book – i personally am GLAD to see an ad like this showing the president will not back down to you filthy rethuglicans! you will use every trick in the book EXCEPT for policies, showing us your taxes, making sure everyone can vote – to WIN at all costs – love the poster who said you have lied so much you do not know what is up and what is down. I cannot WAIT for the debates! That is if you actually participate! I'm sure the rethuglicans will try to weasle out of them some how.

    August 9, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Patriot Awesome

    Are you republicans seriously going with this guy? You all should really consider giving Ron Paul the nomination. I don't think it's too late. Say what you want about Ron Paul's policies, but at least he has honesty and integrity.

    August 9, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. n

    Who wants a punk for a president? Boy what a wimp and a real twit this guy has turned out to be. Right wing conservative party, what happen to you guys, is Romney the image you want for this great nation as the leader of the free world? I think not! Throw Romney the crybaby to the lions . . . never mind, the lion would toss him back because he's not lean enough.

    August 9, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I thought he was a new kind of politician
    He most certainly is. Head, shoulders, legs, and thighs above the riff-raff that tries to pass itself off as caring civil servants protectors of the middle-class and the disenfranchised. You and politicians like you have robed this country of it's luster, it's pride, its' COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY. And I for one detest what you and those like you have become, and what you have sold your selves body and soul out for at the expense of our country.

    May you and those like you rot in hell.

    August 9, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Jon

    v_mag ... when you can not attack a persons policies you make fun of them and spout innacuracies ... you must be a liberal, because that is what they do when they can not back up a arguement

    August 9, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    because obama cannot run on his record, worst wanna be prez ever is obama.

    August 9, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. raymeo

    What an absolute hypocrite! Various non-partisan outlets and the entire news media has found numerous lies in Romney's ads, pointed them out, had them pasted all over the airwaves – and the guy then doubles down!! NOW, he says Obama should be embarrassed??!! Stop whining, Romney! You can dish it out, but are a wimp when you get punched back! Guess he thinks only the GOP is allowed to use Rovian politics! Such a cry-baby!!!

    August 9, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Expat American

    Republicans complaining about personal attacks are no better than collaborators complaining about their haircuts.

    August 9, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Chung

    Mitt. It is not a personal attack. It is a sad and disturbing personal story that is derived from your greed. You are all for profit making, you couldn't care less about working class families. Yes, you are directly responsible for the death your former employee's wife.

    August 9, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. ptny

    Mitt, it's not a personal attack! Geeeze, it's about flip flopping on the Affordable Care Act. If she had lived in Massachusetts she could have had Romney Care and perhaps lived! Other women can be saved in the future with the Affordable care act. Get it?

    August 9, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. n

    Look at his face in the above picture. Look's like he is throwing a temper tantrum. Boy, what a spoiled brat this Romney guy is. Poor little rich boy getting slapped around by the play ground kids, who obviously can care less about his daddy's big money. Hey Romney show us your taxes and we will let you play.

    August 9, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Lisa

    Oh Come on Mitt..... you destroyed your primary opponents...... now Priorities USA is doing the same to you..... what happened to the Mitt during the primaries .. he wasn't crying wolfe then..... oh I forgot... this is Mitt the man of many faces Romney!

    August 9, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  16. JohnW

    "You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad." Pot, meet kettle.

    August 9, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. larry W

    what would happen if Romney looks in a mirror and see the nasty ads he runs.

    August 9, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That should've been "robbed" not "robed". Speed typing at work. Pardon.

    August 9, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Obama2012

    Keep on Airing it! This mormom guy is accusing this add as lies, but himself is yet to come clean from his hidden taxes havens.

    August 9, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  20. Speaking of Hope and Change

    Romney is running a campaign of Hope and Change also.

    He Hopes we stop asking for his tax returns because he can't Change what's in them.

    Obama 2012

    August 9, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Najie

    The Bully Cries The Cry Of Desperation!

    Why is this guy complaining about ads against him that he thinks are inaccurate, yet he blatently refuses to pull ads he has running against the President, even after being told that those ads are grossly incorrect? IS THIS GUY FOR REAL?

    August 9, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Somebody ask Mittler what news papers he reads and see if he can answer better than Sarah Palin."

    What Mittens needs to read at this point is the writing on the wall. No no no...not Larry Craig's phone number...

    August 9, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. ART

    Oh Boo Hoo stop your whining

    August 9, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. AgrippaMT

    Mittens Rawmoney is getting more and more desperate. No wonder he is slipping in the polls. We just need to remember that anything that is bad for Mittens is good for America.

    August 9, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. annette

    whats the matter mitt – can dish it but can't take it. you are doing the same thing with your ads against the president so act like a big boy already instead of a bully.

    August 9, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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