Amid the controversy over a Democratic super PAC ad featuring a man whose wife died of cancer years after Mitt Romney’s old firm Bain Capital was involved in his company, is another charge by Democrats against the GOP.
The ad asserts Republicans want to end unemployment benefits.
Created by Democracy for America, Gov. Howard Dean’s political organization, it says Republicans in their “extreme” agenda pushed efforts over the last two years in Congress to end unemployment benefits.
Online searches show plenty of discussion about how long unemployment benefits should continue but not a single report surfaced indicating Republicans were planning to end the benefits.
The email ad begins: “You’ve seen the extreme agenda – the most extreme I’ve ever seen – being pushed by Republicans in Congress over the last two years.”
It lists with bullet points “Repealing President Obama’s healthcare law,” “Defunding Planned Parenthood,” “Cutting Social Security benefits,” “Privatizing Medicare” and “Ending unemployment benefits.”
“And no action on creating jobs or protecting America’s middle class,” charges Dean’s organization. “We can’t let this extreme agenda go any further. We have to win in November. It’s not enough to re-elect President Obama. We need to take back the House from John Boehner’s Tea Party majority and elect bold progressive leaders to the Congress, or else we’ll be stuck with two more years of our economy and our middle class being held hostage by extreme ideology.”
There are two points in the ad: the promotion of “12 progressive leaders in close races who could decide control of the next Congress” and raking in donations.
While Obama’s email missives almost always ask for $3, Dean’s group apparently is more needy, requesting $12 “to help elect the Dean Dozen.”
The ad also explains a little about itself, specifying that the “Dean Dozen” is the “highest” endorsement the group offers, “a guarantee from our one million members that we will do whatever it takes to win in November.”
The email lists six candidates, Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire, Joe Miklosi of Colorado, Shelli Yoder of Indiana, Jose Hernandez of California, Kathy Boockyar of Pennsylvania and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico.
WND emailed and called Democracy for America seeking comment on the ad or an explanation for the claim Republicans are for “ending unemployment benefits,” only to be referred to a spokeswoman. A call to her number elicited a referral to another number back at DFA, where a message was left.
The controversy continues to churn over the ad by the super PAC Priorities USA, with columnist Pat Buchanan sounding off. He called the Obama advocacy ad the “moral equivalent of poison gas.”
Buchnan writes that in the ad, Romney is “charged with moral, if not material, complicity in the cancer death of the wife of a Missouri steelworker.”
“Speaking straight into the camera, Joe Soptic, 62, charges Romney with coldly shutting down the plant where he worked and cutting off his health insurance. This, says Soptic, left his wife without insurance to pay for her care, until, falling ill, she went to a doctor, who discovered stage 4 cancer, which killed her in 22 days,” Buchanan writes.
“Soptic implies a causal connection between Romney’s decision to shut the plant and his wife’s death. The ad is a premeditated attempt to murder the reputation of Mitt Romney. And from start to finish, it is a deception.”
Buchanan pointed out Romney moved out of leadership at Bain Capital in 1999, and the steel plant closed in 2001. But while Soptic lost his health insurance, his wife was still working and had hers. She lost her job and insurance in 2003. Her illness and cancer were discovered in 2006, when Romney was ending his fourth year as governor of Massachusetts.”
“The White House, through its cynical silence, has been complicit in this moral atrocity as it reaps the benefits,” he said.
Further, while an Obama campaign official denied knowing the facts of the case, she reportedly had a telephone conference call with the man about the same issue.
Fox News reported Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter yesterday said, “I don’t know the facts” about the Soptic case.
But the report said in May, Cutter herself hosted a conference call in which Soptic detailed his case to reporters.
“During the call, as he did in the ad, Soptic explained his wife fell ill after he lost his job, and he lost his health insurance. The call took place as Soptic began appearing in Obama campaign ads and was featured in a profile on the Obama campaign website,” the report said.
The Romney campaign called the Soptic ad “a new low.”
“As if the disgusting and disgraceful ad wasn’t enough, President Obama’s top campaign advisers repeatedly lied, claiming they had no knowledge about the content of the ad,” a campaign statement said.
It noted the Cutter campaign telephone call with Soptic and the campaign decision to feature Soptic in its own production, before the PAC ad came out and the denials that the Obama campaign knew of the man.
“As Reid J. Epstein of Politico wrote, ‘When President Obama’s aides said they weren’t familiar with former Missouri steelworker Joe Soptic’s life story, all they had to do was check their own campaign archives.’”
The Romney campaign said it wanted Americans “to know about this discredited, dishonest, despicable attack by President Obama’s allies designed to divert attention from his failed economic record.”
Dean’s DFA explains it is going to “fight to stop right-wing Republicans and big corporate interests from rolling back the progress we’ve made.”
Dean’s video promotion: