Mitt Romney’s campaign released a new television ad Friday that attacks President Obama’s character, accusing him of sitting back while his allies falsely blame the Republican for causing a woman to die from cancer.
“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?” the narrator asks in the 30-second spot, before the newspaper headlines “scraping bottom” and “disgusting” splash across the screen.
Priorities USA, an independent super PAC founded by former White House spokesman Bill Burton, began airing the ad this week that features Joe Soptic, who lost his job and health care after Mr. Romney’s Bain Capital closed a steel plant in Missouri in 2001. In the ad, Mr. Soptic says that a short time after that his wife became ill, but they could not afford the insurance costs.
It turns out that Mr. Soptic’s wife died in 2006, five years after the plant closed. She had her own health insurance even after her husband became unemployed, but lost her coverage when she, too, lost her job.
Robert Gibbs, an Obama campaign adviser, and deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter claim they know nothing about the details of the woman’s illness and were not involved in the ad. Others, though, have since pointed out that Mr. Gibbs served alongside Mr. Burton as White House Press secretary, and that Ms. Cutter held a conference call with reporters earlier this year that featured Mr. Soptic.
In their new ad, the Romney camp accusing the Obama campaign of working in coordination with Priorities USA on the spot, raising questions about whether they violated federal election law.
“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?
Doesn’t America deserve better than a president who will say or do anything to stay in power?”