Pro-Obama super PAC releases (less contentious) ad
August 10th, 2012
04:36 PM ET
9 years ago

Pro-Obama super PAC releases (less contentious) ad

(CNN) - Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC that launched a controversial ad earlier this week, came out with a new spot on Friday–one sure to draw less scrutiny.

In the new ad, a former employee at a steel plant purchased by Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, talks about how his life changed after the plant shuttered its doors.

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Bain acquired GST Steel in 1993, but the company went bankrupt in 2001, two years after Romney ceased day-to-day oversight of Bain.

"The plant was my life, I mean, my livelihood," Joe Whitley, who worked at the plant for 29 years, says in the ad. "Romney and Bain, they were businessmen. They had no idea how to make steel. They knew how to make money."

The newly-unveiled spot marks the latest ad in a series of commercials this summer that attack Romney for his work at the private equity firm and feature laid-off workers from businesses purchased by Bain.

"They used us just like we were the scrap steel that we melted, you know, we were just a means to an end," Whitley says.

Starting next week, the ad is set to run in the battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio, according to the group. In total, the multiple Priorities ads this year comprise a $20 million television and online buy.

Responding Friday, Romney's campaign said the new ad was "another discredited attack."

“Just days after the President’s Super PAC released a heinous and despicable ad, and the Obama campaign was caught lying about it, the President’s allies have again come out with another discredited attack," said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams. "After 42 months of unemployment above eight percent, it is clear that the President and his allies don’t have any rationale for reelection. We tried it President Obama’s way and the middle class has paid the price. Mitt Romney has a Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will jumpstart the economy and bring back millions of jobs.”

While the new spot is hard-hitting, it doesn't go nearly as far as the Priorities ad released Tuesday, which blamed Romney for the death of a former steelworker's wife after the employee lost health care benefits when GST Steel closed down.

Taking a closer look at the controversial ad, CNN found that the man's wife had passed away in 2006, not "soon after" the plant closed down in 2001 like he claimed in the ad.

And while campaigns and super PACs are legally not permitted to coordinate, Obama's campaign is now taking heat for denying it knew details about the man's story, despite featuring him in a conference call with reporters in May.

Tuesday's spot, which has yet to run as a paid TV advertisement, drew fire from Romney's team as evidence that the Obama campaign and its supporters are resorting to "desperate tactics" in the presidential campaign.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Ads • Bain Capital • Mitt Romney • Priorities USA
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Mike

    What a brilliant strategy. They never paid a dime to run the ad, yet put Romney on defense for days about it. And Romney thinks he's the brilliant business guy. HAH! Oh, and don't even try to tell me that Romney, Gingrich and Santorum weren't coordinating with their SuperPacs. Citizens United will go down in history as one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever.

    August 10, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Great job super PAC and keep skinning that Fat Cat Romney. America needs to know the real Mitt Romney since he's unwilling to tell the truth about himself, after all he's been given every opportunity to do so and he failed.

    August 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. bobroberts

    and what about the other steel mill that Bain started that employs about 10 times the amount of workers that lost their jobs at GST? Or what about the fact that GST was going to fail and lived longer because of Bain's investment? Bain didn't make all of their money destroying good companies, it was from trying to fix broken ones.

    August 10, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Governor 47th In Job Creation (Excluding Off-shored to China and India)

    I am thoroughly enjoying watching Willard's team getting a painful campaign lesson.
    First ad is leaked but not broadcast, Willard's team gives it free publicity and commits the gaffe that ended their hopes by touting Romneycare. Obama will be glad to have that debate now that Willard has admitted that Romneycare is good and Obamacare is better.
    Team Robmey Hood flails about fighting windmills while quietly another commercial comes out that highlights just how Bain is the bane of Willard. Greed = good for Willard the out-sourcer. He can claim to have retroactively retired, but then he can't take credit for the one "success" story of Bain if we are to then take Willard's word for his retirement (wink wink)
    Then we can get back to taxes and what is he hiding? Obama probably is teasing Willard with things that he already knows (see the last ad that highlighted Marriott), it will be a long painful lesson from now until Nov. for Willard. School's in session!

    August 10, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    In the new ad, a former employee at a steel plant purchased by Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, talks about how his life changed after the plant shuttered its doors.
    The steel plant was going bankrupt and he was losing his job whether Romney's firm got involved or not.

    "Romney and Bain, they were businessmen. They had no idea how to make steel. They knew how to make money."
    Well DUH!! Is this guy the perfect example of a clueless liberal Democrat or what?! The reason a company exists is to make money. Once it stops doing that it ceases to exist. Companies are not like Obama's government which can just spend $1.5 TRILLION more than it takes in and make up the difference by printing money in the back room. I guess the government should have just taken over the steel plant, pumped a half billion taxpayers dollars into and then had it go belly up, JUST LIKE SOLYNDRA! I guess then this idiot would be complaining the government wrecked his dying company. Democrats are such clueless buffoons when it comes to money, fianances and business.

    August 10, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Dan

    Desperate tactics?

    Like Romney refusing to honor Reagan. "Trust but verify".
    Romney keeps telling us to trust him, but he refuses to allow us to verify.

    The last time I trusted a millionaire, the economy crashed in 2008.

    August 10, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. Jmaz

    It's hard to take these ads seriously – especially knowing the hatchet man behind them all. David Axelrod should be sent to the coatroom.

    August 10, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  8. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of OBAMA FAILURE

    More like Joe DIMwhitless!!! He has as much brains as Obama when it comes to the economy and running a business. I guess he didn't notice all the other steel mills going under all around the country. I guess those were Romney's fault too? Maybe you shouldn't have strapped yourself to an old dying industry, got an education and a decent job? Why are YOU taking any responsibility for your life and the choices you've made? But just like all the Democrats and Obama, always blaming others for their problems and failings.

    August 10, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Mark from Louisiana

    I wonder if the obama add will mention that when that steel mill was shut down, Jonathan Lavine who is a campaign bundler for obama was in charge of Bain at the time?
    If Bain is such a bad business, why does obama accept money from it's employees? Shouldn't he return those?

    August 10, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. 2020

    Tragic human stories created by Romney;

    it is them yesterday

    it will you and me tomorrow

    August 10, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Bring out the whiners from the GOP. What a bunch of snot nosed plutocrats.

    August 10, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  12. myviewis

    Okay, so I looked into Joe Whitley and read that he got to keep his job 8 years longer than he expected with his prior employer when Bain bought the company that was in distress. Bain spent millions modernizing the plant but the Unions had contracts in place with the previous owner that prevented the plant from being competive. So once again we are getting another lie just like the one from Joe Soptic. Besides, companies close and unfortunately we have all been employees at one point or another that had to find new jobs. In giving credit to President Obama, Mr. Whitley fits into the very thing that Obama has been trying to encourage people to do and that is to re-train for a new job, especially these people who lived in this remote towns living off a steel plant or auto plant and are lost when this plants have to be shut down.

    August 10, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  13. Jon

    Obama – is still trying to spin the Bain thing. I worked with Mitt Romney while he was in the Salt Lake Olympics ... I worked with his wife too ... not only are they admirable people, who care about the world around them. There is noway, Mitt had anytime to run Bain capital while he was saving, I mean literaly saving the Olympics for the USA. What people dont talk about is 5 months before the Olympics started, 9-11 happened. This changed the entire games, security concerns were elevated, this just didn't mean security at the airport, but security on the mountains that surounded all the vebues, security in Olympic villiage, security at all events, including all the free events that were down town Salt Lake. Everything needed to be reevaluated from a greater security concern.

    Mitt did what needed to be done to make the Olymics happened flawlessly even with the new security concerns.

    Another thing I want to say, if any of you that think Mitt is to stuff to understand the middle class, it is a shame that you dont have the ability to meet him. I can not tell you how many times I saw Mitt help someone that he didnt need to, carry boxes from a truck, when no one expected him to ... he was a great ambassador for not just the Olympics, but the USA and Salt Lake City.

    August 10, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. bb

    Im in finance, in todays economy businesses come and go get over it the unions are the one caused this palce to go under shame on these people for using Deceased spouses and lies for the biggest liar on the planet OBLUNDER!!!!!

    August 10, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Jon

    Dan ... Obama is a millionare

    August 10, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Howard

    If obama is so far ahead of Romney, then why is he running such a desperate advertising campaign, remenicent of a candidate who is running scared? ... Probably because Obama knows that once Romney is allowed to spend his post convention campaign funds, Obama can loose it all. Obama is arrogant and pompous, when Romney's hands are tied behind his back ... and, when Obama believes he has the advantage in campaign funds. Obama's disgusting false accusations directed towards Romney, makes it obvious that obama will stoop to any depth, to hold onto his power. Good bye, and good riddance Mr. Obama !!!

    August 10, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. Sheriff JOE

    The freak show rolls on, if you support b. o. I seriously believe you are retarded

    August 10, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. King

    this is what the repubs was looking for now rove and the coch brother will go Ham on Obama, just like they did in their primaries, when mitten claims that was illegal for him to correct them or even conversate with them, now. he wants Obama to do what he said was illegal. these 1 percenters that own all these media out lets are dictating eveny political event :the repubs are doing voters suppression all over the country, where is the media outrage!!! I am tired of seeing the media allow the repubs to do anything without consequences, but when dems do somthing similar it's hell to pay. let me some of these mainstream media going around and putting the repubs voter suppression on the front line.

    August 10, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. IrvineCAVoter

    Hit the Robmeys campaign with the kitchen sink. Don't stop. Find others who lost jobs through Ronmey/Bain. Ronmey/Bain runied peoples livelihood. The US nation needs to hear the otherside of the story about Ronmey/Bain and their corporate greed.

    Obama 2012

    August 10, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  20. g s

    So what IS in those tax returns? If there wasn't anything it would be pretty easy to just open the books, so something's being hidden. What IS in those returns? So we can see why he's invested in Swiss bank accounts and accounts in the Cayman Islands. And you know, we also need to know why does — what is the allure of investments out of the country?" If Romney has intention of releasing his tax returns for whatever reasons, he should not have run for the president. Once he does, his life is an open book and subjects to close scrutiny by his adversary and we vote and when he pick his v.p will he or she show tax returns for more than two years?? If they do how will this look for Mitt!! It so happens that this summer the Internal Revenue Service released data from the 400 individual income tax returns reporting the highest adjusted gross income. This elite ultrarich group earned on average $202 million in 2009, the latest year available. And buried in the data is the startling disclosure that six of the 400 paid no federal income tax.
    The I.R.S. has never before disclosed that last fact

    August 10, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. Deb in MT

    "Bain acquired GST Steel in 1993, but the company went bankrupt in 2001, two years after Romney ceased day-to-day oversight of Bain."
    mmmmm..There's some serious disagreement about when Romney ceased his operations at Bain, depending on whether or not Mittens was trying to claim Massacussetts' citizenship at the time, or claim a tax break as a resident of Utah. You really have to see his tax returns for the time in question to determine the facts...oh...never mind.

    Also, for the Romney apologists out there: it is possible for a business to close up and lay people off, but it isn't necessary to raid the employees' pension funds and run up extraordinary debt which gets converted to Mittens' pocket money, to do it.

    You also don't have to launder money through Luxembourgh, and hide it in secret shell companies, or Swiss bank accounts, etc. Mittens' financial dealings stink to high heavens.

    August 10, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Jon

    Oh my gosh ... If Obama paid the green fees and all other expenses for all the golf he plays ... including air fare to get to all those plush golf courses ... his golf would be way more than what us in the middle class make.
    Maybe the RNC needs to run an Ad ... "Hi I am Obama's putter ... I have played at the most expensive golf courses in America ... in fact some of the golf course I play at require you to be the guest of someone that has paid over $250k for a membership ... in the past, these golf courses would not let women play ... I even fly in the Private jet that you tax payers pay $60k per hour to fly so the President can go golfing with me ... you get my drift .
    This is what I would like to know ... how is Reid paying 100K a year for a room in the Ritz Carlton on his salary of $174K as a Senator? I calculated this by taking the lowest priced room and multiplying it by 365 ... he doesn't have a low priced room he has a suite which is over $500 per night.
    $174k a year at a 20% tax bracket would leave Reid $135K to live on. So Reid spends $100k of his $135K a year he makes on a hotel room for him to live in? Something is wrong with this picture. Now with a salary that he nets $35k a year after paying for his lodging, how did he get to be worth over $9 million? Well I know one way. Not pay taxes could help, maybe that is why he things Romney doesn’t pay taxes – because he doesn’t.
    Special Note: If you say he is getting a discount because he is a Senator, does he claim the discount on his taxes as income, which is actually a taxable event.

    August 10, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Logic N LA

    Romney ceased day to day in 1999 but was still the CEO of Bain until 2002 and responsible for all of its actions.
    Obama 2012..- you are correct- Businesses are meant to make money. But companies like Bain forget that by closing all of the U.S. companies they put profits in other countries pockets. Greed is not what built America. Sound business and concern for others did. American business thrived at the highest tax rates in our history. The middle class became the norm in this country during our highest tax rates and we built the now decaying infrastructure that moves this country- all while maintaining our place as the leader in every category world wide.
    So let's put blame where balme belongs – corporate greed.

    August 10, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. myviewis

    Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Great job super PAC and keep skinning that Fat Cat Romney. America needs to know the real Mitt Romney since he's unwilling to tell the truth about himself, after all he's been given every opportunity to do so and he failed.

    Just exactly how is this good for Obama when his pro-Obama Super PAC are getting caught lying, get it lies????? And we should trust them telling us who should be in the White House, we should trust liars??????

    August 10, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  25. Jon

    Wow my comment was deleted ... let me try again.

    Howard – the answer is simple ... CNN and their polling friends that have Obama leading by 7% are wrong, just like they were totally wrong about the last Presidential election. THere were only two polling firms that got the last Presidential right, Pew and Rasmusson. Gallop was close. Rasmusson had Romney leading Obama by 4% ... and Gallop has the race tied.

    August 10, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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