Obama supporter defends his story in super PAC ad
(CBS News) The makers of a new Romney attack ad, as well as the steelworker featured in the television spot, are standing by the highly-scrutinized ad, saying the ad does not suggest that Romney is responsible for a woman's death from cancer.
Joe Soptic, the former steelworker featured in a Priorities USA Action ad, told the Wall Street Journal that he thinks the ad is fair.
In ad, the former GST Steel employee recounts how he lost his job and his health benefits after Bain Capital -- the private equity firm founded by Romney -- purchased and shut down the Kansas City plant. Soptic's wife was ill but could not afford to go to the doctor; by the time she went to the hospital, she was already dying of cancer. Mitt Romney, his presidential campaign, and even some Democrats have said the ad crosses the line by suggesting that Romney is responsible for the death of Soptic's wife. Soptic, however, that he did not intend to suggest that.
"I'm not blaming him for her death," he told the Journal. "I wouldn't do that."
Soptic acknowledged that his wife had insurance through her employer after he lost his job at GST Steel, though she eventually left her job because of an injury and lost her coverage as well. After he found another, lower-paying job, he said his family could not afford insurance.
Though he said he's not "blaming" Romney for his wife's death, Soptic told the Journal that because of Bain's management of GST, he lost the health care that would have given his wife a better quality of life.
Bill Burton, co-founder of Priorities USA Action, also defended his super PAC's ad. He said on CNN Wednesday night that it's "absolutely not true" that the ad blames Romney for the death of Soptic's wife.
"The point of this ad is that -- you know, it's to tell the story of one guy, Joe Soptic, and the impact on his life that happened for years, and to this day, as a result of decisions that Mitt Romney made," he said. "What we're saying is that Joe Soptic was fired from his job, and as a result of that, he wasn't able to get -- he wasn't able to hold onto health care benefits that were promised to him. And as a result, when his wife got sick, he didn't have health care."
The Obama campaign has tried to distance itself from the Priorities ad by saying they aren't familiar with the "specifics" of Soptic's story -- even though Soptic was featured in a separate ad produced directly by the Obama campaign and shared his life story on a conference call hosted by the Obama campaign.
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