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Day 10: More Excuses From The Obama Campaign On Malicious Ad

- August 16, 2012

The Obama Campaign Still Refuses To Condemn Priorities USA's Disgraced Ad


Excuse One: We Haven't Seen The Ad

Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney Refused To Comment On The Ad: "Well, I'll Simply Say That I Haven't Seen The Ad." 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." ( White House Press Gaggle , 8/8/12)

Excuse Two: We Don't Know The Facts

Obama Campaign Adviser Stephanie Cutter Claimed, "I Don't Know The Facts About When Mr. Soptic's Wife Got Sick Or The Facts About His Health Insurance." "Asked about the Priorities spot on MSNBC Wednesday morning, Robert Gibbs said he doesn't 'know the specifics' while Stephanie Cutter said on CNN: 'I don't know the facts about when Mr. Soptic's wife got sick or the facts about his health insurance.'" (Reid J. Epstein, "Team Obama Denies Knowing Story Of Man In Its TV Ad, Call," Politico's "44," 8/8/12)

Excuse Three: The Ad Hasn't Aired

Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod: The Ad Is "Not Running By The Way, The Ad Hasn't Been On The Air." AXELROD: "The irony of all of this, George, is that this ad is running at the very same time that Governor Romney's campaign is running an ad that he paid for - it's not running by the way, the ad hasn't been on the air." (ABC's " This Week," 8/12/12)

Excuse Four: We Don't Know Priorities' Affiliation

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz Even Refused To Acknowledge The Political Affiliation Of The Obama Endorsed Super PAC. FOX NEWS' JOHN ROBERTS: "Let me switch gears if we could. You probably saw we were talking with John McCain a couple of minutes ago. We aired a little bit of that Priorities USA ad. Should the Democrats be releasing an ad of accusing a presidential candidate for being responsible, through an inference, of being responsible for a woman's death." DNC CHAIR DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: "First of all, that's a Priorities USA, not a Democratic ad. That's a Priorities USA ad, which we have nothing to do with." ROBERTS: "Do you deny that they're Democrats?" WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: "I have no idea of the political affiliation of folks who are associated with that Super PAC." ROBERTS: "Bill Burton, who used to work at the White and worked for the Obama campaign in 2008. Clearly they're Democrats." WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: "That is a Super PAC ad that is not affiliated with our campaign or with the party." (Fox's " Fox News Sunday," 8/12/12)

Excuse Five: The Ad Doesn't Say What It Says

Obama Campaign Adviser David Axelrod Denies That The Ad Blamed Romney For Joe Soptic's Wife's Death. AXELROD: "Listen, listen, let's talk about - because I have, you know, I'm a faithful viewer of your show. I've watched this discussion go on and on and on. So, let's talk about it. I've said and I said it on Sunday on the Sunday shows, no one can -- no one should or could blame Governor Romney for the death of that guy's wife. I don't believe that that ad said that, but whatever." (MSNBC's " Morning Joe," 8/16/12)


At Least Four Of Obama's Cabinet Members Answered His Call To "Help Fill The Coffers" Of Super PACs. "At least four Cabinet members appear ready and willing to answer President Barack Obama's call to help fill the coffers of Democratic outside spending groups, which have to date been badly outgunned by better-funded Republican organizations." (Michael Beckel, "Fundraising Activities Are Limited, But Star Power Brings In The Bucks," iWatch News, 2/13/12)

Obama Spokesman Ben LaBolt: "Campaign And White House Officials Have Participated In And Will Continue To Participate In" Super PAC Events. "And the Obama campaign made clear that it still fully supports the political action committee. 'We have been crystal clear in expressing our support for Priorities USA Action and its mission: re-electing the President,' campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. 'Campaign and White House officials have participated in and will continue to participate in their events across the country.'" (Steven T. Dennis, "Cabinet Members A Super PAC No-Show," Roll Call, 7/10/12)

In March, Obama Adviser David Plouffe Attended A Priorities USA Meeting With About Two Dozen "Major Democratic Donors." "President Obama's adviser David Plouffe appeared at a prospecting meeting for Priorities USA Action held at the Yale Club in Manhattan earlier today, speaking before a group of about two dozen major Democratic donors about the influence of outside groups on the GOP side, multiple sources said." (Maggie Haberman, "Plouffe Appears At Event For Pro-Obama Super PAC, Which Hires News Fundraiser," Politico, 3/19/12)

Interior Secretary Salazar, Energy Secretary Chu, Education Secretary Duncan And U.S. Trade Rep. Kirk Will Attend Fundraising Events For Democratic Super PACs. "Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk have all indicated they would be open to participation in activities designed to help the nascent Democratic super PACs, like 'Priorities USA Action,' raise money." (Michael Beckel, "Fundraising Activities Are Limited, But Star Power Brings In The Bucks," iWatch News, 2/13/12)

"Officials Tapped To Participate Include Health And Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe And Mr. Messina, A Campaign Official Said." (Laura Meckler, "In A Shift, Obama Campaign Moves To Support Outside 'Super PAC,'"The Wall Street Journal , 2/7/12)


Joe Soptic, The Star Of The Priorities USA Ad, Was Featured In An Obama Ad In May That Called Romney A "Vampire." "Joe Soptic, the star of a new Priorities USA Action ad attacking Mitt Romney and a former employee of GST Steel, implies that Romney killed his wife - but it's not the first charge he's leveled at the presumptive Republican nominee. Soptic was featured in the controversial ad aired by the Obama campaign in May that called Romney a 'vampire' - a charge that drew condemnation from Democrats, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker." (Zeke Miller, "Man In Super PAC Ad Starred In Controversial Obama Ad," BuzzFeed, 8/8/12)

  • "Soptic Has Also Appeared On At Least One Conference Call For The Obama Campaign, Before Taping Spots For The Officially Sanctioned Pro-Obama Super PAC." (Zeke Miller, "Man In Super PAC Ad Starred In Controversial Obama Ad," BuzzFeed, 8/8/12)
  • "The Longstanding Relationship With Soptic Strains The Obama Campaign's Evasiveness On The Priorities Ad, In Which Aides Have Said They Can't Comment On It Because They Are Unfamiliar With The Facts." (Zeke Miller, "Man In Super PAC Ad Starred In Controversial Obama Ad," BuzzFeed, 8/8/12)

Time's Mark Halperin: "The Distinction The Obamans Are Trying To Draw Between A Super PAC Ad And A Campaign Ad Are Meaningless … They Could Publicly Call For It To Be Pulled Off The Air." "And the distinction the Obamans are trying to draw between a super PAC ad and a campaign ad are meaningless in this case. The campaign didn't make the ad, but they could publicly call for it to be pulled off the air if they wanted it snuffed out. They aren't, and they don't." (Mark Halperin, "Why The Obama Super PAC Ad Is Different," Time, 8/8/12)


Obama Lamented Super PACs That Are "Just Going Crazy." OBAMA: "Now over the next three months, 89 days to be precise, the other side will be spending more money than we've ever seen. You got these guys writing $10 million checks. You got these Super PACs that are just-that are just going crazy." (President Barack Obama, Remarks, Grand Junction, CO, 8/8/12)

  • In 2007, Obama Called Upon His Opponents To Own Up To Outside Group Expenditures On Their Behalf. OBAMA: "[Y]ou can't say yesterday, you don't believe in 'em, and today, you're having three-quarters of a million dollars being spent for you. You can't just talk the talk." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Oskaloosa, IA, 12/22/07)
  • Obama: "I Don't Just Talk The Talk; I Walk The Walk." OBAMA: "I don't just talk the talk; I walk the walk. ... I've been doing this all my life." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Oskaloosa, IA, 12/22/07)

Priorities USA Has An Ad Featuring A Former Steelworker Who "Appears To Blame Romney For the Death Of His Wife." "Joe Soptic, a former steelworker, makes yet another appearance in a pro-Obama ad, this time for the Super PAC Priorities USA Action. We have examined this case before, and for the benefit of readers we repeat our main points from an earlier column that awarded the Obama campaign One Pinocchio for the use of this case study against presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Most controversially, Soptic this time appears to blame Romney for the death of his wife after he lost his health insurance when the steel plant closed." (Glen Kessler, "New Anti-Romney Ad: Same Steelworker, Tougher Message," The Washington Post's "The Fact Checker," 8/7/12)

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