The super PAC backing President Obama on Tuesday released its harshest ad yet. A twist on previous Bain layoff ads, the latest Priorities USA Action ad features a laid-off steelworker discussing the death of his wife.
In the ad, Joe Soptic, who formerly appeared an Obama campaign ad in May, says losing his health insurance along with his job after Bain Capital closed the Kansas City GST Steel mill where he worked may have contributed to his wife’s death.
“When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my healthcare, and my family lost their healthcare. And a short time after that my wife became ill,” Soptic says, speaking directly into the camera. He speculates that his wife concealed her illness because they couldn’t afford to treat it.
“I don’t know how long she was sick and I think maybe she didn’t say anything because she knew that we couldn’t afford the insurance, and then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia and that’s when they found the cancer and by then it was stage four,” Soptic said. “It was, there was nothing they could do for her. And she passed away in 22 days.”
Called “Understands,” the ad accuses Romney of being oblivious to the impact his business at Bain Capital had on others. “I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone, and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned,” Soptic says at the end of the ad.
While the Obama campaign has segued from Bain Capital and layoffs to tax plans and tax returns, Priorities USA Action has kept up the heat on Romney’s Bain record with at least some effect. The latest ad is an indication that Priorities not only thinks the ads are working, but that they can push the subject to the next level.
The ad is the fifth in a $20 million campaign to define Romney’s time at Bain. The ad is running in Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvaia, Virginia and Ohio, according to the Miami Herald.
Pema Levy is a News Writer at TPM covering the 2012 election. Before coming to TPM, Pema was an assistant editor at The American Prospect where she wrote about politics and the economy.