The head of Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC responsible for an ad that some say blames Mitt Romney for the death of a woman, “absolutely” stood by the spot.
Bill Burton said that the ad does not suggest, as many have claimed, that Romney is responsible for the woman’s death. The ad, he says, merely shows the impact Romney’s business decisions have made on one man’s life.
“We’re not saying Mitt Romney is culpable for that,” he said on CNN’s The Situation Room on Wednesday. “What we're saying is that Joe Soptic was fired from his job, and as a result of that, 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.”
But the ad has received push back from several Republicans, saying it crossed a line in politics. When pressed by Wolf Blitzer, who said that several fact checkers have found the ad inaccurate and say it’s “misleading,” Burton still defended the ad.
“Well, this is your opinion,” he said.
Obama adviser Robert Gibbs would not denounce the ad's message on Wednesday and said the Obama campaign had no coordination with the super PAC, which is forbidden by law.
The use of outside money, and the relationship between the campaigns and super PACs, was criticized by former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday.
Gingrich was barraged by ads created by pro-Romney outside groups during the Republican primary, and he has been a vocal opponent of super PAC ads.
“If Barack Obama had to stand behind this ad, they would never have run it," Gingrich said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. "It wouldn't have been possible. We would have a much cleaner and much healthier system if the money was in a situation where the candidate was held accountable and wasn't just being done by political consultants who have nothing to lose.”
Gingrich said that Obama should denounce the ad and step away from attacks on the effects of Bain. He doubts, however, the president will follow suit.
“If you don't want these attack ads, tell your friends not to give the money,” he said. “If you don't want these attack ads tell the guy who's doing it you're going to repudiate him publicly unless he obeys certain limits.”
Priorities USA Action has run a series of ads that outline the impact that Bain has had on factories and workers across the country, often showing people who were laid off. The ad is part of a broader $20 million ad buy targeting battleground states.