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. JohnW

    @Critical Thinking
    Burton, you are a tool ! And Mr. President you are immoral !
    I think you forgot the "Lack of" at the beginning of your handle.

    August 9, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. myviewis

    What ever happened to good reporting, not one person brings up Jonathan Levine, why? Lots of ads trashing Romney, lies from Harry Reid, Joe Soptic, Bill Burton (Priorities USA Action). How much can Priorities USA Action tell voters they are pro the truth if they themselves are lying to the voters? And conveniently distracting voters from important issues like the economy, the direction of our country, jobs, jobs, jobs, money in the checkbook. This is so ridiculous to lie instead of Obama run on his work performance, his record.

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

    MitWit please. Stop embarrassing yourself

    August 9, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. ray

    the words that i would like to use to describe this liar romney wont make it on this post. romney is nothing more than a liar, simple and the right wing media lets him gets away with it everyday. this man is no intergrity, dignity, morlas or no class. this guy will everyday and will let for nothing , just lies, lies, lies and more lies.. had this man been living in another country , say africa or the middle east, man, man , man, mmm you know what would have happen to him?

    August 9, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. cali girl

    Liar Liar Robmey magic undies are all on Fire!! Hanging on his car elevator door.

    August 9, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. ghostriter

    Ain't that a blip.'s OK to adMitt it now. He is failing miserably. The whole campaign has become a joke and the only ones who don't get the punchline are you guys.

    August 9, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Barbara Stillman

    Mitt Romney has blind focus. He will say and do anything to get elected. He appears to have no moral substance at all. He can dish it out but he can't take it,
    I can't wait for the debates.

    August 9, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    Maybe Romney needs to roll out a campaign ad about the US Border Patrol aganet that Obama and Eric Holder helped get killed??? Now THAT they had a very direct contribution to!!

    August 9, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. normajean @ verizon ,com

    The Republicans Mitch McConnell will live to regret that he said ,....with a definate smirk on his face.."" The single most important thing we want to achieve is for president Obama to be a one term president""This is like telling an Olympic runner he can't win!!!! THIS JUST MAKES THEM TRY HARDER.....MANY TIMES THIS KIND OF CHALLENGE LEADS TO A WINNER and here we come!!!!

    August 9, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Woman In California

    "I don't know whatever happened to a campaign of 'hope and change.' I thought he was a new kind of politician.

    He is you liar and the hope is you won't get to the White House so we can continue with the change.

    Anytime this LIAR is not made out to be the white knight in shining armour he yells from the roof tops. Whatever role (if any) Willard played in the death of Soptic's wife can, should and will be debated, but we do know he's trying to deny over 30 million people healthcare, which could result in illinesses and even some deaths for which he could care less about. For that fact alone, neither Willard or Ann should ever be anywhere near the White House.

    August 9, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. myviewis

    Okay I made a mistake, his name is spelled Jonathan Lavine and he has been is an executive at Bain Capital and has been there since 1993 and has been tied to the Layoffs according to the report I just read at ABC. So what gives with everyone blaming Romney who left Bain in 1999 when clearly Joe Soptic was under the direction of Jonathan Lavine of Bain Capital????? What's wrong with telling this truth????? Same truth that had to be told of Joe Soptic.

    August 9, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

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

    Unless, of course, your name happens to be Mitt Romney and it's your anti-Obama ad running filled with lies and out of context inaccuracies.

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

    August 9, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Woman In California

    And by the way, I'm not distracted so where are your tax returns as this will not work.

    August 9, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Bill

    Look at the desperation in his face – the endgame is at hand folks. Romeny will be beaten in November.

    August 9, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    "I can attack you, even tell LIES if I have to, but you better NOT do that to me because it isn't fair!!" If Obama whined about the attacks on him, especially the FALSE ones, Romney would make an attack ad about him complaining.

    August 9, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    Look at his face in the above picture. Look's like he is throwing a temper tantrum.
    Interesting you should point that out as my first thought upon seeing the photo was that this was the most animated I have ever seen this caricature of a man look. I should've know it would have something to do with somebody NOT taking his crap.
    Keep up the GREAT work supporters of our President!!!

    August 9, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. MikeB59

    Welcome to the world of post-Citizens United. Priorities is an independent group, not connected to Obama. They can say whatever they want, true or false.

    August 9, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. MikeB59

    Hey Mitt, grow thicker skin if you want to be President.

    August 9, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. Shadow

    Mitt Romney wasn't good enough, 4 years ago, to win the Republican nomination or be selected as a running mate with McCain who lost. Current day..the Republicans offer this guy up as a nominee? ROTFLMAO, as the more he speaks the more it makes sense why McCain wouldn't have him back then.

    August 9, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. sam900

    “Bill Burton needs to go back to ethics school,” Davis said of the group’s senior strategist, who is a former Obama White House spokesman. “He knows perfectly well that the ad is misleading and disgusting and he needs to apologize for it.” A Quotes from Lanny Davis. Why CNN ignore this? Check

    August 9, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  21. Jimmy

    I Is there anything this guy wont WHINE ABOUT??? What a big fat whiner.

    August 9, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. v_mag

    Jon said: 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
    I like to think of myself as a progressive, but I don't mind being called liberal. Beats "conservative", which always brings to mind a tightly puckered sphincter.

    As for making fun of people, the righties make it so easy it is hard to resist. When you hear one of the richest guys in the world begging for sympathy when he's caught time after time in lies, I just find that hilarious. And I make sure that I can back up any factual statements I make.

    So I ask you: What makes Romney any different at all from George W?

    August 9, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Woman In California

    @ Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well said and I couldn't agree MORE.

    August 9, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Im just shocked that he hasn't called his boy Christie to handle the situation for him. After all everyone knows that Robmey is, like most bullies, a huge, blubering coward. He probably cried his eyes out on Ann's shoulders desparing at the "unfariness and injustice of it all" ruining a perfectly expensive $1000 t-shirt.
    Thank God for all those Mormon millions huh?
    Obama 2012.

    August 9, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. MaryM

    Poor spoiled brat lying Mitt. He can dish it out but cant take it. Cant wait for the debates.

    August 9, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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