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A super PAC backing President Obama paints Republican rival Mitt Romney as a heartless corporate raider in a new television ad featuring an unemployed worker who blames Bain Capital for the loss of his family’s health insurance after Romney’s company shuttered the steel plant where he worked.
The ad is part of a $20 million mostly negative television and online campaign by Priorities USA Action PAC. The spot features Joe Soptic, a former employee at GST Steel in Kansas City, Kan., who lost his health insurance after Bain, the private equity company Romney headed, closed the plant in 2001. He blames Romney in part for the loss of his wife, whom Soptic says died of cancer after delaying a hospital visit because the couple no longer had health insurance.
“She passed away in 22 days,” says Soptic as he gazes past the camera. “I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone, and furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.”
Soptic appeared in an Obama campaign ad in May entitled “Steel,” that featured former GST Steel workers blaming Romney for the closure of the plant. The fact-checking website Politifact rated as “mostly true” the ad’s claims that Romney and his partners loaded the plant with debt, closed it and walked away with a profit. Romney had already relinquished day-to-day control of Bain’s operations when the plant closed, but he had been at the helm during six years of investment in GST Steel.
The ad will run in the swing states of Iowa, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia and Ohio. Romney is slated to visit the latter three as part of a bus tour this weekend and early next week.