Obama campaign officials say they do not know the full story of a man in a misleading ad released by the Obama-affiliated super PAC — but the same man has been featured in an Obama campaign ad and on a conference call.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki reiterated Wednesday that the campaign has no knowledge of the man's story, aboard Air Force One.
"We have nothing–no involvement with any ads that are done by Priorities USA," she said. "We don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family."
Psaki, Stephanie Cutter, and Robert Gibbs have denied knowing the specific details of the story in the Priorities ad, which suggests Mitt Romney was responsible for the death of a woman from cancer. According to Politico, Joe Soptic–the Missouri steelworker in the Priorities ad — told that story on a conference call run by Cutter.
The May ad, "Vampire," concludes with Soptic talking about Romney:
"If he's going to run the country the way he ran our business, I wouldn't want him there," he says in the ad. "He would be so out-of-touch with the average person in this country. How could you care?"
The Priorities ad released Monday details Soptic's wife's death.
On the May conference call, Soptic told the same story featured in the Priorities ad, reports Politico's Reid Epstein:
(Deputy campaign manager Stephanie) Cutter hosted an Obama campaign conference call in May in which Soptic told reporters the very story featured in the Priorities spot.
Both the campaign and the Priorities USA Action said there was no coordination about Soptic’s appearances. In the campaign’s ad, Soptic speaks only about the plant. In the Priorities spot, he tells the personal story he relayed during the Obama campaign conference call. […]
The aide didn’t answer questions about when the Obama campaign shot its Soptic footage or explain Cutter’s televised statement.
Senior campaign adviser David Axelrod, who told reporters that Mitt Romney needed to stand up to the "most strident voices" in his party, has not commented on the Priorities ad.
"If you don't have the strength to stand up to the most strident voices in your party, how are you going to stand up to Ahmadinejad?" Axelrod said on a conference call with reporters in March. "How are you going to stand up to the challenges of the presidency?"