Connecting the Dots on Soptic: Begala, Brock, and Burton
How did Joe Soptic become the centerpiece of the attack against Mitt Romney's time at Bain Capital? Since the media simply accepts the notion that this guy came out of nowhere and won't bother to find out, we'll do the heavy lifting for them.
According to Bill Burton, Priorities USA - the SuperPAC he runs along with long-time Democratic smear artist, Paul Begala (they call him a "senior advisor") - shot the footage which appeared in their disgusting ad back in February. For some reason, Burton's group decided to wait until August to finally air the ad. Here you have what they clearly considered blockbuster footage sitting on a shelf doing nothing.
Were they hurting for funds? Possibly. Were they going around telling people they had this blockbuster footage and needed money to run an anti-Romney campaign with it? Let's see. February. What else happened in February that made the news? Oh, yes. Bill Maher came out of nowhere and stroked a nice fat $1,000,000 check to Priorities USA. But there's more in that story to digest. Particularly:
Earlier this month, the Obama campaign announced a more friendly posture toward the group, allowing administration and campaign officials to appear at the super PAC’s fundraising events.
Oh? What could possibly have led the Obama administration to feel that Priorities USA needed some help with fundraising? Could it be that Priorities USA had some blockbuster footage sitting on a shelf?
This was February when the Republican primaries were still being contested and Team Obama was gearing up for the eventual nominee. Romney was the front-runner. Pro-Obama forces were already attacking Romney, but it would make sense they would keep the powder relatively dry until he became the presumptive nominee.
That happened in April. With Romney the target, phase two kicked in. Enter David Brock. On April 27th, Brock's SuperPAC - American Bridge - formed a joint fundraising committee with Bill Burton's Priorities USA. Let's also recall that Paul Begala is a player here. Here's what he said about Brock's American Bridge back in February of this year:
“I rely on [Bridge] everyday,” said Paul Begala, a consultant and strategist for Priorities USA. “The duplication of effort that would be required if Bridge did not exist would be massive and expensive.”
Seems in this case the roles were reversed. Clearly, these two organizations rely on each other for information. So why not join forces officially to raise funds? And what better way to raise funds than by telling potential donors about some blockbuster footage they have of a guy basically blaming Mitt Romney for the death of his wife?
With Romney gaining momentum and Team Obama struggling to paint him as evil-incarnate, they couldn't wait. They went out and "found" Joe Soptic and got him to tell his story again and put him an ad - the "Vampire" ad, aka evil-incarnate. They even went a step further and had Soptic tell his story during a conference call hosted by the Obama campaign. Obama's Deputy Campaign Manager, Stephanie Cutter, was on that call. She now claims she didn't know the details of Soptic's story even though he told it during the call.
Of course, these lame explanations don't pass the smell test. Everyone in the Obama campaign, including White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney - claims to have no knowledge of the details of Soptic's story. Really? Where did they find him? Out of the thousands of people they could have interviewed, filmed, and put on conference calls, why Joe Soptic? Are we to believe he just popped up out of the blue and no one in the Obama campaign bothered to vet him? They just plopped him in front of a camera and had him participate in a campaign conference call? Are you serious?
The theory: David Brock, who is known to have close contact with the White House, and Paul Begala, who has been a Democratic attack dog for decades, and Bill Burton, who was once officially part of the White House staff, told the White House about Joe Soptic.
They not only told the White House about Soptic, they coordinated the timing of the release of these ads to assist with fundraising for the SuperPACs. This is why the White House allowed administration officials and campaign staff to appear at fundraising events, as reported back in February. They had something juicy to tell potential donors so checks would be stroked.
There you go, Lap Dog Media. There's your framework. Now do your jobs.