A new ad released by Priorities USA, a super PAC supporting President Obama, paints Mitt Romney in a very unfavorable light-- and that's saying something in a campaign season full of negative ads.
The ad features Joe Soptic, a former GST steelworker, tying his wife's death to Governor Romney because the plant was closed in 2001 by Romney's firm, Bain Capital, and others. Soptic describes how his wife died of cancer after he lost his benefits and subsequently was afraid to be a financial burden on the family, knowing they were unable to afford health care. She passed away within 22 days of the diagnosis.
Soptic's wife actually died five years after GST filed for bankruptcy and she reportedly had her own health insurance, but lost it when she left her job following an injury. The policy through GST Steel was her secondary coverage.
The Romney campaign calls the ad "disgusting" and "dishonest" and they point out that Romney left Bain in 1999 to work on the 2002 Olympics. There are disputes about his involvement with Bain during that period, but it is important to note that Soptic's wife died in 2006-- several years after GST closed and several years after Romney left Bain.
The Obama campaign says that the do not know the specifics of the case, but Soptic appeared in a pair of Obama campaign videos earlier this year--
The Romney campaign also released a new ad that is being called inaccurate and hypocritical--the ad rails President Obama for implementing a welfare policy some say is very similar to one that Governor Romney supported when he was governor of Massachusetts.
The ad points out that under the 1996 Welfare Reform Act , also known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, a workforce development component was added to welfare legislation, encouraging employment among the poor. The ad lays out that President Obama's plan to "gut welfare" by "dropping work requirements" would remove requirements for a person to work or train for a job.
Last month HHS actually invited states to apply for waivers so that states could "consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of TANF, particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment." The ad also fails to mention that Republican states sought the waiver policy. It also fails to mention that in 2005, in a letter signed by 29 Republican Governors, the Republican Governors Association asked Congress for even broader welfare waivers--Romney was one of the 29.
The Romney campaign notes that "the letter was commenting on a Senate reauthorization of the welfare program that was pending at the time" stating that the bill "increased work participation rates from 50% to 70%" and that it "did not provide waivers of the core work requirements and the governors were not requesting waivers for core work requirements."
The Obama campaign also notes that as governor, Mitt Romney "created a program that gave free cars to state's welfare recipients.."
You be the judge-- tell us what you think of both of these ads and tune in for Special Report 6pm ET on Fox News for more from Ed Henry and Carl Cameron!