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Tag Archives: Priorities USA Action

Obama Distances from Romney-Killed-My-Wife Ad

President Obama sought to distance himself from an ad by the Pro-Obama PAC Priorities USA Action that suggests Gov. Mitt Romney’s actions at Bain Capital were responsible for the death of the wife of a man who had lost his insurance.

“I don’t think that Gov. Romney is somehow responsible for the death of that woman,” Obama said.

Obama, who spoke at an impromptu news conference today in the White House briefing room, did not condemn the ad. But he said he did he “did not approve” it, noted it was put out by a third party, and said it has “barely” run on the air.

Officials in charge of the PAC, including former Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton, have had close ties to the White House and the president.

But while steering clear of the ad, Obama amplified his campaign’s attack on Romney for failing to release his taxes, saying that Americans want evidence that Romney is playing “by the same set of rules” that they are. When asked if this meant Romney might be doing something illegal, Obama said he meant that Romney has certain tax advantages most Americans lacked, like Swiss bank accounts.

The Obama campaign has been darkly hinting that Romney may have cheated on his taxes.

Obama asserted that “Nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.”

That may be technically true, but it’s misleading. Obama campaign spokesman Stephanie Cutter stated last month that Romney might have misrepresented to the SEC his role in Bain Capital, adding, “which is a felony.”

WH, Obama Campaign Refuse to Disavow Vicious Ad

Both the White House and the Obama campaign today refused to disavow an ad by the pro-Obama SuperPac Priorities USA Action which suggested Mitt Romney’s actions at Bain Capital had resulted in the death of a woman.

Speaking today to reporters aboard Air Force One as President Obama traveled on a two-day political trip to Colorado, both White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and Obama campaign press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on the ad and sought instead to switch the subject to a Romney campaign ad they object to.

From the White House transcript:

Q    Jay, I wanted to follow up on a question from the briefing yesterday.  You said you’d get back to us on your assessment of the Priorities ad and whether it was appropriate to essentially tie Mitt Romney to the man in the video’s wife’s death.  And Jen, I’d like to get your assessment of that ad as well.

MR. CARNEY:  Well, I’ll simply say that I haven’t seen the ad but I have read about it.  And I speak for the President.  I do not speak for a third-party organization.  This was in the context yesterday of a discussion about the categorically false and blatantly dishonest advertisement from the Romney campaign  — not a third-party group — from the Romney campaign with regards to the President’s policy on welfare reform.  And I would just state that, again, the ad is categorically false and blatantly dishonest . . .

Q    This is a separate issue.

MR. CARNEY:  No, no, no, this is not a separate issue.  This is about Romney campaign’s advertising about the President’s policy . . .

Q    Jay, this isn’t a one-for-one thing.  This isn’t, well — my question is about the White House and the President’s assessment of whether it’s appropriate for a third-party group that supports Obama to put out an ad that essentially ties Mitt Romney to a worker’s wife’s death.

MR. CARNEY:  I still haven’t seen the ad.  I’ve read about it.  I don’t speak for a third-party group.  I speak for the President and the administration, and I explain and defend his policies . . .

MS. PSAKI:  I will echo some of what Jay said here, which is that we have nothing — no involvement with any ads that are done by Priorities USA.  We don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family.  As you know, campaign finance rules in that regard are in place for a reason.  At the same time, while we’re talking about this ad, which we all know we had no involvement in, Mitt Romney’s team is running a dishonest ad . . .

Carney has in the past commented on actions by such “third party organizations.” Just last April, he commented about an online petition being circulated by a Republican SuperPac calling on Obama to voluntarily pay more in taxes:

“Gimmicks by SuperPACs funded by multi-millionaires who are advancing an agenda that would protect them from having to pay their fair share in taxes, protect them from having to pay a tax on their income at a rate similar to middle-class Americans, are not things that we take very seriously,” he said.

Obama Ad Suggests Romney Role in Woman’s Death

This is the worst, slimiest, lowest thing I think I have ever seen in politics at a national level.

Suggesting that Romney’s actions helped kill a woman ranks with Lyndon Johnson’s famous ad suggesting Barry Goldwater would blow up the world.

This ad is by Priorities USA Action, a technically independent political action group supporting Obama. The PAC was founded in 2011 by Bill Burton, who had just been White House Deputy Press Secretary and failed to get the top post, and another former White House staffer, Sean Sweeney. The PAC also includes veteran Democratic operative Harold Ickes and TV-based Democratic operative Paul Begala.

Where’s the outrage in the press? Imagine if Karl Rove had put together an ad in 2004 suggesting Kerry had killed someone. That is, someone who was not Vietcong.

I realize the people who put this up won’t take it down. It’s their nature to create such things.

The White House should dissociate itself from this ad immediately or be labeled as complicit in this calumny. It won’t, because the press doesn’t care, and there won’t be enough outrage. But it should. And until the White House says this kind of thing doesn’t represent President Obama, it’s an Obama ad, even if technically made by former staffers.

What’s spooky is the depths to which these people will go to maintain power. It suggests a lust for power and a willingness to do anything to preserve it that should frighten Americans.