Obama Campaign Acknowledges KC Man’s Role in GST/Bain Commercial
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki acknowledged Thursday that the campaign was no longer pleading ignorance about the story of a Independence, man who has appeared in both a super PAC ad and a campaign ad.
“No one is denying he was in one of our campaign ads. He was on a conference call telling his story,” Psaki told reporters on Air Force One.
Kansas City GST steelworker Joe Soptic starred in an Obama campaign ad and participated in a conference call with the campaign in May, as POLITICO reported Wednesday. He resurfaced this week in a Priorities USA Action super PAC ad, charging that his wife died of cancer after Mitt Romney’s former private equity firm laid him off.
Distancing themselves from the controversial ad, Obama campaign staffers initially denied knowledge of Soptic’s story — despite the fact that he was in an Obama campaign ad.
Adviser Robert Gibbs said he didn’t know “specifics,” while deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said on CNN: “I don’t know the facts about when Mr. Soptic’s wife got sick or the facts about his health insurance.”
And yesterday on Air Force One, Psaki said, “we don’t have any knowledge of the story of the family.”
UPDATE: Amanda Henneberg, a spokesperson for the Romney campaign, said this in a statement: “President Obama’s campaign has been caught lying about its knowledge concerning a vicious smear run by his Super PAC. And now, they have doubled down with another dishonorable and dishonest attack. In 2008, candidate Obama said ‘you make a big election about small things’ when you don’t have a record to run on. Since President Obama can’t run on record unemployment, falling incomes, and massive debt, he has decided to run a dirty campaign that is an affront to everything he claims to stand for.”