The big story this week, at least for our side, was the “Romney Killed My Wife” ad run by an Obama-supporting PAC. Wow, there are so many aspects to this that it’s hard to know where to begin. Suffice it to say, the windows this ad and its aftermath opened to the mindset of the leftists running Obama’s PACs are stunning even for a jaded cynic like me.
First, a provable time line of events blows the ad’s premise out of the water—that Romney’s Bain Capital was responsible for the steel plant’s shutdown that caused the aggrieved man to lose his job and his health insurance, which in turn caused his ill wife to die because without insurance, she could not get the treatment she desperately needed. The facts tell us that (1) Romney left Bain Capital seven years before the woman was diagnosed and died, and (2) the woman had health insurance of her own after her husband lost his.
Second, the blatant lies told by Obama campaign staffer Stephanie Cutter, who claimed she knew nothing about the ad or about the circumstances of the wife’s illness. A recorded conference call between Cutter and, among others, the aggrieved husband who shared his story, exposed her false claim. There’s also the question of whether there may have been inappropriate coordination between the Obama campaign and the PAC, although given that Democrats are involved this will probably be swept under the rug.
Third, despite some “random acts of journalism” by CNN that actually challenged the claims of Ms. Cutter and PAC chair Bill Burton, the prevailing meme in the MSM was that there was some ill-defined “moral equivalency” between this ad and Romney’s far more truthful ad accusing Obama of gutting the work requirements of welfare. Of course, by doing this the media for the umpteenth time minimized the fallout from something horrendous Obama’s people did—at least that was certainly their hope.
Juxtaposed against this ad madness were the ubiquitous polls that show, despite Obama’s proven track record of lying through his teeth about any number of issues, and the continued stagnant economy, the president is back in the lead. Pundits are sonorously intoning that Romney had better “hit a home run” in his choice of a vice presidential candidate—that anything less implicitly insures his demise in the election. But the problem with that argument is, no matter who Romney chooses, Obama and his minions have the talking points all set to go to rip whomever it is to shreds. Portman—a Bushie—need we say more? Ryan—a heartless numbers guy who’s already pushed granny off the cliff. Christie—a loudmouth who can’t control his weight. Rubio—a phony whose selection is simply pandering to the Hispanic voters. And on it will go.
No matter who Romney chooses as his running mate, in the end it’s the candidate himself who must respond effectively to the smears that are being leveled against him—and this includes recognizing the times when no response at all is the best option. It remains to be seen whether Romney has the fortitude and the political smarts to overcome the Chicago thug machine. But frankly, from what we’ve seen up until now, I’m not betting on it.
Editor’s Note: As this went out for publication, the announcement of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate had just been made. Look out for the granny off the cliff ads again, along with many other false-premise ads about Ryan’s budgetary plans, and don’t let your friends and relatives fall for them!