Ronald Kessler reporting from Washington, D.C.
— A political ad essentially accusing Mitt Romney of killing a woman who had cancer exposes President Obama as a “pretender” who is quite different from the image he projects, Steven Law, president and CEO of the powerful political action committee American Crossroads, tells Newsmax.
American Crossroads is running its own ad highlighting the contrast between Obama’s promises to end divisiveness in Washington and the fact that Priorities USA Action, an Obama super PAC headed by his former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton, is running the cancer ad.
|Steven Law is president and CEO of the powerful political action committee American Crossroads.
“This is someone who loves to brag about how special he thinks he is and how his morals are better than everyone else’s, but when the chips are down, as I think we are seeing with this particular scandal, he turns into just another grubby politician who will do anything to protect his job,” Law says.
The Obama attack ad blames Romney for the death of a woman with cancer because she supposedly lost her health insurance coverage when Bain Capital closed her husband’s steel plant.
In fact, Romney had left Bain Capital two years before Bain closed the steel plant following years of losses. Contrary to Joe Soptic’s claim in the ad that his family lost its health insurance coverage after the plant was closed, Soptic obtained another job and was covered by health insurance through the new job. He chose not to pay for coverage for his wife. But his wife had health insurance coverage through her employer. By the time she was diagnosed with cancer, however, she had left her job. She died 22 days after being diagnosed — five years after the plant had closed.
“One of the things that is clear is that the Obama campaign and the White House have many more connections to the Obama super PAC than any of them have let on, and the smoking gun in this matter is the tape of Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s deputy campaign manager, interviewing the star of the Obama super PAC ad, in which it is revealed that she knew precisely all about the story that just a news cycle earlier she had denied knowing anything about,” Law says.
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Law says the cancer ad presents an opportunity to reveal who Obama really is because it shows that Obama is “kind of a typical politician, and the way that he and his campaign operate are completely at odds with an image that a lot of Americans still have of him, which is that he’s a decent, straight forward person who rises above the political fray.”
“There are all sorts of links between the White House and the super PAC, and to pretend that the Obama forces have almost no knowledge of this organization, no connection to it whatsoever, just simply doesn’t stand up under the light of day,” Law says.
“Even the people in the mainstream press are calling a foul and saying that this ad simply doesn’t square,” Law says. “They are calling on the president — as we are — to do what he said others should do a few years back, which is to denounce ads that are demonstrably false even if they are helping you by attacking your opponent.”
American Crossroads and its affiliate Crossroads GPS, which focuses on issues, are major players in the campaign. Together, they expect to raise and spend $300 million to defeat President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Advised by political heavyweights like former Bush White House aides Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, media guru Carl Forti, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan, American Crossroads is not only placing political ads but conducting its own polling and research on how to focus those ads.
Law was previously chief legal officer and general counsel of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor under President Bush.
For now, American Crossroads is distributing the new ad virally and with an online advertising budget. The Crossroads ad ends with President Nixon’s White House Counsel John Dean warning on a White House recording that there is a “cancer within — close to the presidency,” referring to the Watergate scandal.
Law concedes that Obama’s attack ads have had an impact on Romney’s favorable and unfavorable ratings. But he says, “I happen to think that the impact is fairly superficial, and when Mitt Romney introduces himself at the convention and at the debates and at other settings, I think Americans are going to get a very different perspective of him. These negatives that have attached to him now I think will fall away fairly quickly.”
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The selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate has given the campaign a shot in the arm, he says.
“Paul Ryan’s addition to the ticket ensures the American people will get what President Obama can’t deliver: a serious, fact-driven debate about how to make our country strong again,” Law says. “Ryan is the un-Obama: a humble guy who thrives on facts and practical solutions in contrast to Obama’s self-referential platitudes and divisive politics.”
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. He is the New York Times bestselling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. Read more reports from Ronald Kessler — Click Here Now.
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