Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki refused to condemn a misleading ad released by the Obama-affiliated super PAC Priorities USA, which suggests Mitt Romney was responsible for a woman’s death from cancer.
Despite being given four opportunities to disassociate the campaign with the Priorities ad, Psaki refused to comment on its content.
“As you know, we have about as much to do with the Priorities ad–the super PAC ad–as we do with Michael Phelps winning gold medals last week,” she said. “I can’t speak to the ad.”
The advertisement, released Monday, suggests Romney was responsible for the death of the wife of a steel company bought by Bain Capital.
I don’t think Mitt Romney understands what he’s done to people’s lives by closing the plant. I don’t think he realizes that people’s lives completely changed. 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.”
But the actual timeline of events is not detailed in the ad. According to CNN:
Romney stopped his day-to-day oversight at Bain Capital in 1999 when he left to run the Salt Lake City Olympics, though he officially remained CEO until 2002. Bain Capital shut down GST Steel in 2001, costing Soptic his job.
According to Mr. Soptic, his wife received her primary insurance through her employer – a local thrift store called Savers – and retained it even after his layoff. Soptic’s policy through GST Steel was her secondary coverage.
In 2002, Mitt Romney formally left Bain. Sometime in 2002 or 2003, Mr. Soptic says his wife injured her rotator cuff and was forced to leave her job. As a result she lost her health insurance coverage and Mr. Soptic’s new job as a janitor did not provide coverage for his spouse.
Soptic’s wife was diagnosed with and died from cancer in 2006.