The Obama political machine’s race to the bottom has dived deepbeneath the muck of Harry Reid’s lies about Romney’s taxes and finally hit bedrock. Today Priorities USA released a new ad that will surely rank among the ugliest and most dishonest in the history of political campaigns. Titled “Understands” the ad features Joe Soptic describing how Mitt Romney is responsible for his wife’s death from lung cancer. It’s Lyndon Johnson’s Daisy ad made more personal and therefore even more vile.
When Mitt Romney and Bain closed theplant, I lost my healthcare, and my family lost their healthcare. And ashort time after that my wife became ill.
I don’t know how long she was sickand I think maybe she didn’t say anything because she knew that wecouldn’t afford the insurance, and then one day she became ill and Itook her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her forpneumonia and that’s when they found the cancer and by then it was stagefour. It was, there was nothing they could do for her.
And she passed away in 22 days.
I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone, and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.
If Soptic looks familiar that’s because he was one of the narrators of the ads the Obama campaign launched in May. You may remember it as the ad where one of Soptic’s co-workers compares Bain Capital to a “vampire.” The new ad is by Priorities USA, an Obama approved SuperPAC. Priorities USA is prevented by law from coordinating its activity with the Obama campaign, but this ad is clearly meant to look like a continuation of the previous Obama campaign ad. Soptic is even wearing the same grey shirt he wore in the previous ad. And the claim about the death of his wife has been part of an Obama for America slideshow for months.
The emotional thrust of the new ad is Soptic blaming Romney and Bain Capital for his wife’s death. He says she became ill “a short time” after he lost his job and his health care. But the timeline being presented in this ad is extremely misleading. According to a notice in the Kansas City Star uncovered by Politico, Soptic’s wife died in June 2006. That’s five years after the GST Steel plant was closed in 2001 and more than seven years after Romney left management of Bain to work on the 2002 Olympics in February 1999.
Politico asked Priorities USA to explain what Mitt Romney had to do with the death of a woman years after he’d left the company. Priorities strategist Bill Burton responded “We’re illustrating how long it took for communities and individuals to recover from the closing of these businesses.” But length of impact is clearly not what the ad tries to depict. It says the illness happened “a short time after” and then emphasizes the wife’s death just 22 days after being admitted to the hospital. In other words, the ad is intentionally misleading, suggesting to viewers that this happened shortly after the plant was closed, not years later.
President Obama has been personally involved in decisions which lead to layoffs. More people lost jobs at Solyndra than at GST Steel. How many people lost jobs at GM dealerships when the company went through downsizing and bankruptcy? Is President Obama personally responsible for the health of every spouse of those workers for the coming 5-7 years? If one of them dies of cancer in 2015, should Obama be blamed? It’s an absurd standard and yet that’s what Obama’s SuperPAC is pushing with this ad. Forget hope and change. This election Obama is offering sleaze and viciousness.
Update: CNN reviewed the ad this afternoon and found it is “not accurate.” Turns out Soptic’s wife still had her own insurance after he lost his job. She stopped working as a result of an accident:
In 2001, Joe Soptic loses his job when Bain closes the plant. His wife still has insurance, though, through her employer, Saver’s thrift store. A year later, Romney formerly leaves Bain. And it’s that year, 2002, or perhaps 2003, Soptic tells CNN, that his wife leaves her job because of an injury. That’s when she became uninsured without fallback insurance from her husband. A few years later, in 2006, she goes to the hospital is diagnosed with cancer and dies just days later.
Bill Burton at Priorities USA is now claiming that he did not intend to connect Romney to the death of Soptic’s wife. This is obviously a lie. Watch the video. There’s no other conclusion you can draw from it. This ad is so dirty that even the people who made it don’t want to take credit for it.