Misleading Ad Causes Trouble For Obama
Misleading Ad Causes Trouble For Obama, The president’s reelection team is backpedaling over an independent attack on Mitt Romney. Obama camp denies knowledge of cancer tale it told in May, Oops? President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign washed its hands Wednesday of an independent group’s vicious (and misleading) ad effectively blaming Mitt Romney for the death of a laid-off steelworker’s wife from cancer. Campaign officials flatly denied any knowledge of the facts in the case-but it turns out the widower told the same story on an Obama campaign conference call in mid-May. (The Obama campaign responded late in the day: See update below).
“We have nothing, no involvement, with any ads that are done by Priorities USA. We don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday.
The ad features Joe Soptic, who lost his job and his health benefits after Romney’s Bain Capital closed the GST Steel plant in Kansas City, Mo., in 2001. Soptic later told CNN that his wife had health insurance through her own employer from that point to 2002 or 2003, when she left that job because of an injury-a detail that undermines the ad’s heartbreaking narrative.
“I don’t know the facts about when Mr. Soptic’s wife got sick, or the facts about his health insurance,” deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told CNN on Wednesday.
But there’s a problem. As Politico first reported, Soptic told essentially the same story in a May 14, 2012, conference call hosted by the Obama campaign. Here’s what he said then, according to a partial recording of the call passed along by a Republican official:
After we lost our jobs, we found out that we were going to lose our health insurance, and that our pensions hadn’t been funded like Bain promised they would be. I was lucky to find another job as a custodian in a local school district. They gave me some health insurance, but I couldn’t afford to buy it for my wife. A little while later she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had to put her in a county hospital because she didn’t have health care, and when the cancer took her away, all I got was an enormous bill. That put a lot of stress on me: I thought I’d be paying it off until I died myself. That probably wouldn’t have happened if Bain kept its promise and I was allowed to keep our health insurance.