The Most Vicious Ad Of The 2012 Campaign Blames Mitt Romney For The Death Of A Steel Worker’s Wife (Even though she had her OWN insurance)

via Business Insider: 

The pro-Barack Obama super PAC Priorities USA unleashed what might be the most vicious ad of the 2012 campaign cycle this morning, an ad that personally points some blame toward presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney for the death of a steel worker’s wife.

The ad, titled “Understands,” is a much more pronounced and heavy attack than some of the others that the Obama campaign and Priorities USA have released targeting Bain Capital’s closure of a GST Steel plant in Kansas City.

“Understands” features Joe Soptic, who was laid off from the plant and lost health benefits. The ad says that he later found part-time work, but his wife developed a stage-four cancer (not specified further) and “there was nothing they could do.”

Here’s the script:

When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, 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, and then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia and that’s when they found the cancer and by then it was stage four.  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.

Soptic, incidentally, is the same person the Obama campaign featured in its first Bain Capital attack ad. That ad did not get nearly as personal, and Soptic did not mention his wife’s story at all.

UPDATE: When asked for comment, the Romney campaign didn’t directly address the ad or its contents, instead going with a pretty standard response that the ad is a diversion and “dishonest.” Here’s the statement from spokesman Ryan Williams:

“President Obama’s allies continue to use discredited and dishonest attacks in a contemptible effort to conceal the administration’s deplorable economic record. After 42 months of unemployment above 8 percent, it is clear that the President and his campaign do not have a rationale for reelection. He focused on health care instead of the economy, he hasn’t been able to pass a budget through Congress, he hasn’t been able to cut the deficit like he promised and he’s done little to change the way Washington works. Mitt Romney has a Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will jumpstart the economy and bring back millions of jobs.”

The Wife Of The Steelworker In The Vicious Anti-Romney Ad Actually Died Five Years After The Plant Closed

via Business Insider: 

UPDATE (6:15 p.m. ET:( CNN’s Brianna Keilar is reporting that steelworker Joe Soptic’s wife was insured through her employer, Savers Thrift Store. She was laid off from her job in 2002 or 2003, Soptic told CNN, at which point she lost her health insurance. So it would appear that Joe Soptic’s firing had nothing to do with his wife’s health insurance.

Priorities USA strategist Bill Burton told Keilar that the super PAC was not attempting to draw the connection between Romney and Soptic’s wife’s death. But as Keilar pointed out, that’s the conclusion that many are drawing.

The Romney campaign has compiled the video of Keilar’s reporting on “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer:

ORIGINAL POST: The venomous pro-Barack Obama super PAC ad released this morning lost a bit of weight by Tuesday afternoon.

The controversial ad features former GST steelworker Joe Soptic, who was laid off from the plant and lost health benefits in 2002, and asserts that Mitt Romney is partly to blame for the death of his wife. Soptic later found part-time work, but his wife developed a stage-four cancer (not specified further) and “there was nothing they could do.”

But Politico’s Alex Burns reported that the Soptic’s wife died in 2006, four years after the plant was closed.

A 2006 story in the Kansas City Star reported the death of Ranae Soptic, a former champion roller skater: “Soptic went to the hospital for pneumonia, but doctors found signs of very advanced cancer, and she died two weeks later on June 22.”

As Burns points, the new information doesn’t discredit the ad, because it’s not known when Soptic’s wife developed the cancer or if her chances for survival would have improved if it had been diagnosed earlier. Soptic explained in the ad that he thought his wife might not have said anything about feeling sick because she was concerned about the affordability of the care without insurance.

But he also says that his wife fell ill “short time” after Romney and Bain closed the GST Steel plant, without mentioning the time lapse.

Here’s the relevant part of the script:

When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, 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, and then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia and that’s when they found the cancer and by then it was stage four. 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.

Soptic didn’t mention the time lapse in an interview with Reuters in January. He explained that he could only find part-time work as a custodian, and his $24,000 salary couldn’t cover the medical bills. He had also lost about $283 per month in his pension as a result of the plant closing.

When Ranae started losing weight, “I tried to get her to the doctor and she wouldn’t go,” Soptic said. She ended up in the county hospital with pneumonia, where doctors discovered her advanced lung cancer. She died two weeks later.

Soptic was left with nearly $30,000 in medical bills. He drained a $12,000 savings account and the hospital wrote off the balance. 

That Brutal Anti-Romney Ad Is Blowing Up In The Obama Campaign’s Face
via Business Insider:

On Tuesday, the Romney campaign blasted a nasty, controversial pro-Obama super PAC ad that blamed Mitt Romney for the death of a steelworker’s wife after Bain Capital closed his plant and he lost health insurance.

 

The ad instantly came off as nasty, but it was further made damaged goods later in the day by CNN, when the network reported that Soptic’s wife was laid off from her job in 2002 or 2003 and lost her health insurance.

She did not have health insurance through her husband’s job.

President Barack Obama’s campaign had been pleading ignorance, distancing itself from the super PAC ad.

But earlier this year, the Obama campaign featured the same worker, Joe Soptic, as a prominent part of its own attack on Romney’s handling of GST Steel as the CEO of Bain Capital.

On “Morning Joe” today, Obama senior adviser Robert Gibbs said he had “seen some write-ups” of the ad and said he didn’t know the “specifics of this man’s case.”

On CNN’s “Starting Point,” deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said she “didn’t know the facts” of Soptic and his wife.

Soptic, though, was featured in an Obama campaign attack ad and conference call [AUDIO HERE] on May 14, in which he told the story of his wife’s cancer.

“I couldn’t afford to buy it for my wife,” Soptic says on the call of his inability to purchase health insurance for his wife. “I had to put her in a county hospital because she didn’t have health care. When the cancer took her away, all I got was an enormous bill.”

“Thank you, Joe,” Cutter says on the conference call. “We really appreciate you … sharing your experiences.”

Here’s a tweet from Cutter the same day. The quote is from Soptic in the Obama campaign’s video:

 

Stephanie Cutter

Twitter/@stefcutter

 

A Romney campaign spokesman called the Obama campaign’s attempts to distance itself from the attack “disgraceful.”

Here’s the Obama campaign ad from May, which calls Romney a “vampire”:

And here’s the Priorities USA ad from Tuesday:

Bottom line: The ad came off as incredibly nasty, loose with the facts, and has made the campaign look silly in trying to distance itself.

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