Ad About Woman's Death Causes Campaign Furor

Wednesday, 08 Aug 2012 08:17 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Mitt Romney's campaign fiercely protested a searing attack ad aired by allies of President Barack Obama on Wednesday, but drew expressions of dismay from conservatives when an aide to the former Massachusetts governor invoked the benefits of a state healthcare system he signed into law.

"If people had been in Massachusetts under Gov. Romney's healthcare plan, they would have had healthcare," spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an interview on Fox News. The Republican presidential candidate himself rarely mentions the law, which contains a requirement to purchase health coverage similar to the one in the federal law that conservatives despise and he has vowed to repeal.

Saul volunteered her observation after sharply denouncing the ad. In it, which a grim-faced former steelworker, Joe Soptic, suggests that Romney and Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, might bear some responsibility for his wife's death from cancer several years ago.

"It's just despicable, to be honest," Saul said of the commercial, which is aired by Priorities USA Action, a super PAC that supports Obama's re-election. "Of course he doesn't want to see ill come to anyone."

Independent fact checkers judged the commercial harshly, sometimes unusually so.

Additionally, the Romney's campaign alleged that the president's campaign "lied repeatedly about its knowledge of the content" of the commercial. The allegations were denied.

Whatever the particulars, conservatives were quick to react to Saul's remark about the healthcare law that Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts.

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh excoriated Democrats over the TV spot. But he added that the Romney aide's remarks were "a potential gold mine for the Obamaites, because they can say, 'Well, yeah, and Romneycare's the foundation for our plan, Obamacare,' which they are already out there saying."

The back and forth over the commercial largely overshadowed the day's campaign activities by the president and his challenger.

Romney campaigned in Iowa, where he drew a standing ovation for promising to repeal "Obamacare," the derisive label that Republicans long ago hung on the law the president won from Congress.

"That doesn't mean that healthcare is perfect," he said. "We've got to some reforms in healthcare. And I have some experiences doing that, as you know."

Obama was in Colorado, where he embraced the Obamacare tag in an appearance before an audience largely made up of women.

"I actually like the name because I do care," he said. "That's why we fought so hard to make it happen."

The president's campaign aides said throughout the day they had no connection with the controversial television commercial and added that they didn't know the specifics of when Soptic's wife became ill. But Soptic was featured in an ad the Obama campaign aired in May.

Republicans responded quickly with evidence of a conference call arranged last spring by Stephanie Cutter, a top aide in Obama's campaign, in which reporters were given an opportunity to speak with Soptic.

Under federal law, the president's campaign may not coordinate its activities with independent groups such as Priorities USA Action.

Privately, some Republican strategists expressed chagrin at the favorable reference to the Massachusetts law that Romney signed. One prominent conservative blogger, Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, wrote forebodingly that the episode "may mark the day the Romney campaign died."

That seemed unlikely in the extreme.

Polls make the race a close one, to be decided in a battle for eight or so swing states where neither candidate has a decided edge. Key campaign events are yet to unfold, including national political conventions set to begin later this month, Romney's selection of a vice presidential running mate, and a spate of campaign debates a few weeks before the election.

Romney has been outraising Obama in the competition for campaign cash in the past three months, and is backed by deep-pocketed super PACS that have vowed to spend heavily to help him win the White House.

Ironically, given the events of the day, Democratic outside groups have generally struggled to keep pace with those aligned with Romney.

The Obama campaign refused to call on Priorities USA Action to pull the ad. Bill Burton, a former White House aide and co-founder of the group, defended it.

In the ad, Soptic says that the plant where he worked was closed by Romney and Bain in 2001. "I lost my healthcare, and my family lost their healthcare. And a short time after that my wife became ill. I don't know how long she was sick and I think maybe she didn't say anything because she knew that we couldn't afford the insurance."

By the time she went to the hospital, he added, she was found to have cancer and died 22 days later.

"I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he's done to anyone," Soptic says, "and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned."

Romney has long said he left Bain Capital in 1999 to take over the management of the troubled 2002 Salt Lake Olympics Games.


© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

'Frozen': Most Popular Toy in Holiday Survey Dethrones Barbie

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 19:46 PM

Barbie has been the most popular holiday gift for more than a decade, but this year the iconic doll will have to let it  . . .

Nor'easter, Snow Threaten Northeast Travel Ahead of Thanksgiving

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 17:50 PM

The Northeast is bracing for a Nor'easter that is expected to snarl holiday travel plans on Wednesday . . .

Michael Hanline Freed After 1980 Murder Conviction Overturned

Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 15:34 PM

Michael Hanline, who was convicted of murder in 1980, was released on bail Monday after prosecutors said they are no lon . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved