Ad about an ad: Romney campaign ad responds to controversial pro-Obama ad
August 10th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
9 years ago

Ad about an ad: Romney campaign ad responds to controversial pro-Obama ad

(CNN) – The Romney campaign attacked President Barack Obama's character in a new advertisement Friday linking him and his campaign directly to a controversial ad produced by pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action.

Titled "America Deserves Better," the commercial responds to the super PAC ad released Tuesday that draws a connection between the death of a steelworker's wife and Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital, his former venture capital firm. Bain bought GST steel in 1993 and then closed it down in 2001, causing steelworker Joe Soptic, among others, to lose their jobs and their health care benefits.

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The Priorities ad has aired in television news and discussion segments since it was announced but has not yet run in a paid commercial time slot.

An in-depth analysis of the Priorities' ad by CNN called out the ad's timeline – pointing out that Soptic lost his job at GST in 2001 and his wife didn't become ill until 2006.

The new Romney campaign commercial uses images of the president, a member of his staff, and images from the original Priorities ad to present their rebuttal.

The announcer begins by asking viewers, "What does it say about a president's character when his campaign tries to use the tragedy of a woman's death for political gain?"

"A president's character?" the announcer continues.

A headline from an editorial titled, "Scraping Bottom" then scrolls onto the screen, followed by another headline spliced to say, "Disgusting."

The announcer then says, "What does it say about a president's character when he had his campaign raise money for the ad then stood by as his top aides were caught lying about it?"

Another portion of a headline pops up onto the screen, "Obama Campaign Admits Knowing," referring to the president's campaign's knowledge of the super PAC ad. Initially, members of the Obama campaign had denied knowledge of the details of Soptic's wife's loss of health insurance, but reporters later noted a May Obama campaign conference call where the story came up.

It is illegal for super PAC's and the campaigns they support to communicate or coordinate. Obama staffers have repeatedly denied involvement or coordination with the super PAC ad.

"Unfair Attack," is the next headline to scroll across the screen in the new ad.

"Doesn't America deserve better than a president who will say or do anything to stay in power?" says the announcer.

"Doesn't America Deserve Better?" reads text on the screen, followed by Romney's verbal stamp of approval for the content in the ad.

In a statement released with the ad, the Romney campaign reiterated a line used by Romney and top Republican surrogates while campaigning throughout the country over the past week: "President Obama cannot run on his record, so he is committed to tearing down Mitt Romney."

"His campaign tried to use the tragedy of a woman's death for political gain. Then, his top aides were caught lying about it. Doesn't America deserve better than a president who will do anything to stay in power?" the release stated.

Bill Burton, co-founder of the super PAC responsible for the ad, said he "absolutely" stands by the spot in an interview with CNN Thursday.

"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."

CNN's Ashley Killough, Paul Steinhauser and Brianna Keilar contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Credibility

    The ad was not from President Obama, who is indeed a man of character and principle.

    However, an ad directly from Romney was just rated pants on fire, and Mitt chose to double-down on his lies. A sad lack of character from Romney and not presidential.

    August 10, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    “Mr. Romney ought to square with the American people and release his taxes like any other candidate,” “I’ve supported Mitt all along. I wish him well. But I do think he should release his income taxes.”

    That would courtesy of Jon Huntsman Sr.

    Stop being a wimp. Square with the American people and releae your taxes like any other candidate. What are you hiding Willard?

    August 10, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    a person's character? Well the Obama folks need look no further than what many of the former GOP hopefuls said about Mitt Romney everything from calling him a liar to a vulture capitalist to the worst Republican to put up against Obama. The Romney campaign has that "Sarah Palin complex" they can dish it out but when it is dished back on them they cry and whine and play the victim every time.

    August 10, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. McShannon

    President Obama seems very relaxed and focused and Mitt on the otherhand is nervous and protective. He really should give up those tax returns and stop all speculation on the subject. Mitts body language displays his character of self importance and humility isn't in his play book. The low life and organization of peasants as those opposed to his kind really don't like you much and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

    August 10, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Please Grow Up

    The ad in question was not released or commercially broadcast. The News Media has been showing it (for free) and talking about it (a lot). Nobody has to disavow the content – what's good for the goose, etc.

    August 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Jersey Girl

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    If I were Romney, or his Super Pacs, I wouldn't bring up the subject of character...or taxes...or wealth... or religion... or jobs...or horses... or car elevators...

    or Cadillacs...or off-shore bank deposits....or integrity...or hardware stuff...or Etch-A-Sketch toys...LOL

    August 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    I am STILL waiting for all the Obama ads bragging about the $1 TRILLION dollar stimulus and Obamacare. I mean his SIGNATURE ACHIEVEMENTS and he avoids them just like Democrats running for re-election avoid Obama.

    Romney needs to keep HAMMERING home the point that the ONLY way to get rid of Obamacare and save our healthcare system and the economy from its 21 new taxes, IS TO GET RID OF OBAMA and the Senate Democrats. JOBS, the economy and FLUSHING OBAMACARE are the three topics he needs to pound Obama on.

    August 10, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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