The Obama campaign was asked to respond Wednesday to a new Democratic ad blaming a Missouri woman’s death on Mitt Romney.
The ad, produced by pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA, charges Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, with pulling the plug on a fledgling steel company in 2001, leaving hundreds of employees without health benefits. One of those employees, Joe Soptic, says in the ad that after he lost his job his wife became seriously ill, and his lack of health coverage led to her death just weeks later.
However, as ABC News reported:
“Various fact-checkers has since pointed out that Soptic’s wife did not die until 2006, five years after GST Steel closed, and that she had health insurance coverage through her own employer for part of that time. It’s also unclear whether having insurance coverage through GST Steel would have meant better prevention or detection of the cancer that ultimately killed her.”
Neither Obama’s official spokesman nor his traveling campaign spokeswoman said today whether the ad may have been misleading. According to a pool report, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that he had not seen the ad, and campaign Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the campaign has “no involvement” with the group that put the ad together.
“We have nothing, no involvement, with any ads that are done by Priorities USA,” she said. “We don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family.”
Both spokespeople quickly pivoted instead to attacking the Romney campaign over an ad it released yesterday accusing President Obama of gutting the 1996 Welfare Reform Act.