The group Priorities USA has produced a pro-Obama ad recently that essentially blames Governor Romney for the death of Joe Soptic’s wife. It seems that Mrs. Soptic died seven years after Governor Romney left Bain Capital. A company that Bain Capital had invested in during the time that Governor Romney led the company had gone out of business, and Mr. Soptic lost his health insurance. Thus Mr. Soptic blames that fact (and Mitt Romney) for his wife’s eventual death from cancer.
Breitbart posted an article yesterday explaining more of the timeline.
The emotional thrust of the new ad is Soptic blaming Romney and Bain Capital for his wife’s death. He says she became ill “a short time” after he lost his job and his health care. But the timeline being presented in this ad is extremely misleading. According to a notice in the Kansas City Star uncovered by Politico, Soptic’s wife died in June 2006. That’s five years after the GST Steel plant was closed in 2001 and more than seven years after Romney left management of Bain to work on the 2002 Olympics in February 1999.
Politico asked Priorities USA to explain what Mitt Romney had to do with the death of a woman years after he’d left the company. Priorities strategist Bill Burton responded “We’re illustrating how long it took for communities and individuals to recover from the closing of these businesses.” But length of impact is clearly not what the ad tries to depict. It says the illness happened “a short time after” and then emphasizes the wife’s death just 22 days after being admitted to the hospital. In other words, the ad is intentionally misleading, suggesting to viewers that this happened shortly after the plant was closed, not years later.
The article further points out that Mrs. Soptic was still employed after her husband lost his job and still had health insurance until about 2002 or 2003.
I have a few comments on this. Why in the world would a husband exploit the death of his wife for political purposes when the facts don’t add up? What was the husband thinking? The ad is so outrageous to begin with, are the American voters supposed to take it seriously? Why lie about something that can be so easily checked? During my working career I worked for two different companies that were closed down, can I blame them for the fact that I was not able to save enough money so that I didn’t have to take out loans for my children’s college education?
I am truly sorry that Mr. Soptic lost his wife to cancer. That has to be a devastating experience. I also understand that ‘blame’ may be part of the grief process. However, this is ridiculous.