The “Romney killed my wife” lies disintegrate
The despicable ad put together by pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA has disintegrated into the most noxious cloud of lies, with astonishing speed. Rarely have the waters of the political gutter washed away sewage so quickly.
Astonishingly, all three of the broadcast “news” networks managed to avoid mentioning yesterday’s biggest political story. NewsBusters notes that NBC anchor Brian Williams droned on about “both sides getting personal”… without bothering to mention that only one side was accusing the opposing candidate of murder.
But CNN tore the Priorities USA ad to shreds, with anchor Wolf Blitzer pronouncing it “full of falsehoods.” Several points in the CNN report were raised at HUMAN EVENTS as soon as the anti-Romney ad appeared, including the tediously disingenuous nature of the Joe Soptic story, which has already been exploited by the Obama campaign. Mitt Romney was involved with Bain Capital’s initial investment in the company Soptic worked for, but he was long gone by the time it declared bankruptcy.
“When Mitt Romney closed the plant I lost my healthcare, and my family lost their healthcare,” Soptic says in the Priorities USA ad. “A short time after that, my wife became ill.” Not only did Mitt Romney have nothing to do with closing the plant in question, but it turns out Soptic’s wife died five years after the plant was closed.
What’s more, as the CNN report pointed out, Soptic’s wife still had health insurance through her own employer, even after Soptic was laid off.
The most charitable explanation for this twisted attack on Romney is that Joe Soptic is a deeply distraught man who still isn’t thinking clearly because of his grief, and the ghouls at Priorities USA are mercilessly exploiting him. The more credit you give Soptic for being in command of his mental faculties, the less charitable the explanation gets.
Now, Priorities USA is a Super PAC, which allowed the Obama campaign some initial wiggle room for deniability. However, Obama surrogates were given numerous opportunities over the past two days to denounce the ad, and have consistently refused to do so. (The President himself no longer takes questions from reporters.)
Even worse than refusing to denounce the ad, Obama’s people have taken to peddling the most hilariously transparent lies about it. Senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs claimed “I certainly don’t know the specifics of this man’s case” on an MSNBC roundtable Wednesday morning. He even claimed he hadn’t seen the ad, but had read “some write-ups about it” – which seems like the sort of thing that should be listed on his letter of resignation as a clearly incompetent “senior campaign adviser.” To their credit, the MSNBC crew promptly played the one-minute-long ad for Gibbs, then grilled him like a Chick-fil-A sandwich when he consistently refused to denounce it.
Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter short-circuited and began spitting the word “facts” repeatedly when asked about the ad by John Berman of CNN: “Well John, here are the facts. I don’t know the facts about when Mr. Soptic’s wife got sick, or the facts about his health insurance, but here’s what I do know. That Mitt Romney personally handled the deal to take over GS Steel and he personally handled some of the decisions made to load that company up with debt so much that it went underwater. It went bankrupt.”
Jen Psaki of the Obama campaign told CNN that “We have no involvement with any ads that are done by Priorities USA, we don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family.” The former is true as a matter of law, because candidates don’t directly control their Super PACs, but as Newt Gingrich demonstrated during the Republican primary season, they can denounce statements made by those PACs. It would be rather silly if they couldn’t.
But the protestations of ignorance about Soptic made by Psaki, Cutter, and Gibbs are pure bunk. The Obama campaign – not a Super PAC – has prominently featured Soptic in advertisements before. In one of those ads, Soptic called Mitt Romney a “vampire.” You’d think all these high-paid campaign consultants would remember something like that, especially since it got them in trouble with several prominent Democrats who weren’t willing to sign onto Obama’s War on Capitalism, including Newark mayor Cory Booker.
And if any of these Obama liars needs a little refresher about their campaign’s long-standing relationship with Joe Soptic, they could always check out his biography on Obama’s official campaign website. It’s even got his picture, along with this lovely quote: “When you look at what Mitt Romney did in places like GST Steel, you can tell he is only worried about one group of people – and that’s the people like him, people at the top.”
It seems like only yesterday that Obama was complaining about outside groups spending tons of money to run negative ads against him. Does anyone associated with the Obama campaign, including the President himself, retain a shred of character or integrity? Just enough to unambiguously state, without any nasty little caveats, that accusing Mitt Romney of killing Joe Soptic’s wife is wrong?