by Sara J.
This morning on radio, Glenn played the scathing pro-Obama ad from “Priorities USA,” accusing Mitt Romney of being kind of responsible for the death of the wife of a steel worker who was laid off by Bain Capital.
Watch the ad below:
"I don't think Mitt Romney realizes what he has done by closing the plant. I don't think he realizes that people's lives completely changed. When the Bain Capital closed my family lost healthcare. And a short time after that my wife became ill. I don't know how long she was sick. Maybe she didn't know we couldn't afford the insurance. And then one day she became ill and I it can her to the Jackson County healthcare. And by that time it was stage 4. She passed away in 22 days. I don't think Romney realizes what he's done to anyone. Furthermore I don't think Romney is concerned." says the former steel worker, Joe Soptic, in the ad.
As tragic and sad as the story about Soptic’s wife is, Romney had left Bain Capital seven years before this happened. On top of that, after Soptic was laid off, his wife still had access to health insurance through her own job.
But the lies don’t end there.
Soptic also fails to mention that after Bain Capital bought out the steel company he was working for, they also offered to buy him out.
If they offered to buy him out, why is Soptic so upset?
His pension was cut. Soptic is apparently no stranger to the “anti-Bain” campaign tactics that have been used throughout the course of Obama’s re-election campaign. According to Charlie Spiering of the Washington Examiner while discussing the Bain buyout he clarifies that his 401k was not affected but he lost $400 a month from his pension. But in a January 2012 Reuters story, Soptic reportedly said that he only lost $283 per month from his pension.
Here is a clip of the Democracy Now segment:
All of that aside, the biggest problem with this ad isn’t that Joe Soptic is lying, it’s that the Obama re-election team is.
After the timeline of Soptic’s story was exposed, causing the PAC to receive some well-deserved scrutiny, the Obama team claimed to have had no knowledge of his story. According to the Examiner, that is an out-in-out lie.
Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter told CNN, “I don’t know the facts about when Mr. Soptic’s wife got sick or the facts about his health insurance.”
Robert Gibbs echoed a similar statement saying, “We don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family.”
Unfortunately, according to policymic.com, Soptic was on a conference call with Stephanie Cutter on May 4th of this year.
"The audio is from Guy Benson; it’s from a May 2012 conference call where Mr. Soptic recounted his story – without mentioning the details that Romney wasn’t with Bain at the time of the layoff; that his wife still had healthcare until she lost her job, years later; and that five years passed between M’. Soptic’s layoff and Mrs. Soptic’s cancer diagnosis – and Stephanie Cutter was not only on the call. She introduced Joe Soptic, then wrapped up his testimony. And as to any coordination… Politico notes that Joe Soptic is apparently wearing the same shirt for both the Obama for America and the Priorities USA campaign ads."
In addition to that, Buzzfeed reported on Thursday that the Obama campaign used Soptic’s story in a slideshow posted online earlier this year. The slideshow also failed to mention that Romney was not at Bain Capital during this time.
While there may not be enough evidence to claim that the Obama team coordinated with ‘Priorities USA,’ they certainly lied about Soptic’s story repeatedly. And accusations of breaking PAC regulations and a push for an FEC investigation was enough to scare Stephanie Cutter away from her schedule appearance on ABC’s ‘This Week.’
So, just add these to the list of baseless smear tactics Team Obama is willing to use to win this election. Will they be able to stoop lower than lying about and using the death of a laid off steel worker’s wife? Let’s hope not, but we won’t hold our breath.