A top campaign official for President Barack Obama has been accused of lying about what she knew about a man at the center of a Super PAC ad. Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter admitted that she “doesn’t know the facts” in the case of Joe Soptic, a steelworker who appeared in an ad for the pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA.
In the ad, the man says that his wife died of cancer after he lost his health insurance when his plant closed after being taken over by Bain Capital. Cutter said she doesn’t know when the man’s wife got sick or the details of her health insurance plan.
The confusion comes from a conference call during which Soptic gave the details of his wife’s illness to the media, stating that she became ill after he lost his job as a result of the takeover. The campaign profile listed Soptic as one of the “faces of Romney economics.” Officials within the Obama campaign are already distancing themselves from the mishap.
“This is an ad by an entity that’s not controlled by campaign. I certainly don’t know the specifics of this man’s case,” campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said on MSNBC.
The rest of the Obama camp is also making it clear that they have no idea what’s going on with the ad or the family involve. Super PACs are separate organizations from the campaigns they tend to support. Often, the campaign will deny knowledge of much of what Super PACs are doing on their behalf.
“Joe Soptic suffered when he lost his job in the aftermath of the GST Steel plant closing, and no one is denying that he discussed that when he appeared in a campaign advertisement and on a conference call. The important point here is that Mitt Romney’s campaign is based solely on his experience as a corporate buyout specialist, and while he has been quick to claim he created jobs, he refuses to accept responsibility for the jobs that were lost and workers that were impacted,” said Obama Campaign spokesman Ben LeBolt.
Of course the Romney camp believes that the Obama Campaign is lying.
“President Obama and his campaign are willing to say and do anything to hide the President’s disappointing record. But they’re not entitled to repeatedly mislead voters,” Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement.