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Still Not Walking The Walk

- August 9, 2012

Last Night, Obama Criticized Super PACs For "Just Going Crazy," But He Still Won't Denounce Priorites USA's "Inaccurate" Ad

 

OBAMA LAMENTS "CRAZY" SUPER PACS, BUT TURNS A BLIND EYE TO HIS OWN SUPER PAC'S DISGRACED AD

Last Night, 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 "FactChecker," 8/7/12)

  • The Washington Post's FactChecker: "Four Pinocchios." (Glen Kessler, "New Anti-Romney Ad: Same Steelworker, Tougher Message," The Washington Post's "FactChecker," 8/7/12)
  • CNN: "Ad Linking Romney To Death Of The Wife Of A Laid Off Steelworker Inaccurate." (Brianna Keller, "Ad Linking Romney To Death Of The Wife Of A Laid Off Steelworker Inaccurate."CNN, 8/7/12)

OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN REFUSES TO DENOUNCE THE AD

"Asked About The Ad On Tuesday And Wednesday, Obama Campaign Officials Refused To Comment." "Asked about the ad on Tuesday and Wednesday, Obama campaign officials refused to comment, saying the legal separation between campaigns and super PACs meant they had no part in the spot's production." ("Pro-Obama Super PAC Defends Controversial Ad," CNN, 8/8/12)

Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney Refused To Comment On The Ad: "I Speak For The President. I Do Not Speak For A Third-Party Organization." "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)

Obama Campaign Advisor Robert Gibbs "Declined To Criticize A Super PAC Ad That Suggests Mitt Romney Indirectly Caused A Woman's Death." "President Barack Obama's campaign adviser Robert Gibbs on Wednesday declined to criticize a super PAC ad that suggests Mitt Romney indirectly caused a woman's death when a Bain plant was closed."(Kevin Cirilli, "Robert Gibbs Mum On Priorities Bain Ad," Politico, 8/8/12)

  • Gibbs: "This Is An Ad By An Entity That's Not Controlled By The Campaign." GIBBS: "This is an ad by an entity that's not controlled by the campaign. I certainly don't know the specifics of this man's case. I do think there is a lot of concern in the country about what happens when people lose their jobs." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 8/8/12)

"Stephanie Cutter, Obama's Deputy Campaign Manager, Also Declined To Condemn The Priorities Ad, And Used A Question About It To Shine A Negative Light On Romney's Business Record." (Kevin Cirilli, "Robert Gibbs Mum On Priorities Bain Ad," Politico, 8/8/12)

  • Cutter: "You Do Know That We Don't Have Anything To Do With Priorities USA." CUTTER: "You do know that we don't have anything to do with Priorities USA. By law, we're not allowed to coordinate with them, and by law, we don't have anything to do with their ads. I don't know the facts of when Joe's wife got sick or when she died." (CNN's "Starting Point," 8/8/12)

Obama Campaign Press Secretary Jen Psaki: "I Can't Speak To The Ad." CNN's WOLF BLITZER: "Do you want to associate or disassociate yourself with this pro-Obama Super PAC ad?" PSAKI: "Well, Wolf, As you know, we have about as much to do with Priorities ads as we do with Michael Phelps winning gold medals last week. I can't speak to the ad." (CNN's "Situation Room," 8/7/12)

The Ad's Star Previously Appeared In Another Obama Attack Which " Strains The Obama Campaign's Evasiveness"

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)

WHEN WILL OBAMA JOIN THE CHORUS CALLING OUT HIS SUPER PAC'S "DISGUSTING" AD?

Former Bill Clinton Adviser Lanny Davis: Priorities USA's Ad Is "Disgusting." "On @WMALMornings, Lanny Davis calls PrioritiesUSA cancer ad 'disgusting,' says Obama should repudiate it." (Steven Portnoy, Twitter Feed, 8/9/12)

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski: "They're Not Telling The Truth." "There's no price to pay, because they can say 'Well, I don't know the details.' You know what, at least on this show, that's just not going to pass. They're not telling the truth." (Christian Heinze, "Mika Brzezinski: Obama Campaign Is Lying About Cancer Ad," The Hill, 8/9/12)

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "This Is So Short-Sighted And Stupid." "'This is s so short-sighted and stupid that I can't believe an organization that is this good has allowed themselves to be caught in such petty lies over the last 24 hours,' added Scarborough." (Daniel Halper, "MSNBC Again Savages Super PAC For Cancer Ad," The Weekly Standard, 8/9/12)

CNN's Brianna Keilar: "It's Not Accurate." "A new attack ad by a Super PAC backing President Obama appears to blame Mitt Romney for a woman's death from cancer after his company, Bain Capital, shut down the steel mill where the woman's husband worked. … It's a very heart-wrenching story, but it's not accurate. Here is the actual timeline…" (Brianna Keilar, "Ad Linking Romney To Death Of The Wife Of A Laid Off Steelworker Not Accurate," CNN, 8/7/12)

Time 's Michael Crowley: "The Ad Is Scurrilous." "It is at once the most dishonest and substantive ad of the summer. Narrowly judged, the ad is scurrilous." (Michael Crowley, "That Priorities USA Ad: Dishonest But Important," Time, 8/8/12)


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