A super PAC supporting Newt Gingrich is releasing two new ads Sunday in South Carolina -– one labeling Mitt Romney a moderate "RINO" (Republican In Name Only) who can’t beat President Obama, and the other accusing him of misstating the number of jobs he created while heading the investment firm Bain Capital.
The ads, which were screened in advance by a reporter for CBS News and National Journal, follow two other ads from the Winning Our Future PAC that attack Romney for his time at Bain. The first two were excerpted from a 28-minute film, King of Bain, that the PAC has posted online.
The new ads are being released as Gingrich appears to be distancing himself from the activities of Winning Our Future, which is run by his allies and former aides. On Friday, the former House speaker called on the group to remove inaccuracies from the film, which accuses Romney of sacrificing jobs for profit while at Bain. National Journal analyst Jackie Koszczuk called the film "over the top." The Washington Post Factchecker gave King of Bain its worst rating of four Pinocchios.
Winning Our Future responded on Friday night by issuing an open letter to Romney that challenged him to answer questions about when he specifically left Bain Capital and when he stopped receiving income from the company. If Romney chooses not to respond, the group says it will “continue to stand by the film as presented.”
Romney spokesman Andrea Saul said in a statement Saturday, “It is sad to see just how desperate Speaker Gingrich and his allies have become as his campaign continues to flounder. It is a matter of public record that Mitt Romney left Bain Capital in 1999 to run the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. At that time, he gave up all management control and operational responsibility over the firm and its investments.”
The group’s newest advertisements hammer at Romney for his record as a moderate Massachusetts governor and his leadership at Bain. One of the ads, titled “Questionable,” slams him for “Fuzzy Math” in his depiction of how many jobs were created while he headed Bain.
“Romney’s accounting is flawed,” an ominous voice intones to the audience. “Romney’s objective was never a focus on creating jobs.”
The voice goes onto announce that a Romney “took $12 million dollars, then laid off hundreds” in South Carolina, and cites a report by Reuters on January 6, 2012 as a source for the information. The article in question focuses on a steel mill, GS Technologies, that consisted of two steel producers – one in Kansas and the other in South Carolina – that merged under the oversight of Bain in 1995.
According to the report, Bain made $12 million in total on the deal. It is unclear how much Romney personally profited. And while hundreds did eventually lose their jobs, the article says the plant closure was in Kansas City -- and not South Carolina -- and that it happened in 2001. Romney left Bain in 1999 to run the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
The second ad to start running on Sunday is titled “Unelectable” and focuses on Romney’s more moderate positions in the past. It points to the former governor’s refusal to sign the Contract With America, the 1994 campaign blueprint Gingrich used to help Republicans win control of the House, and accuses him of passing “Romneycare, the model for Obamacare.”
“Mitt Romney,” a voice tells the audience as dramatic music pumps underneath. “Not conservative. Not electable.”
Both ads are part of a previously announced ad buy of $3.4 million by Winning Our Future. They were set to air throughout South Carolina starting Sunday morning and will likely air through mid-week when the PAC will swap them out for fresh material.