A pro-Obama PAC ad accusing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of being partly responsible for the death of the wife of Joe Soptic, a former GST Steel worker and Obama campaign operative, “accidentally” aired in Ohio, a major battleground state, on Tuesday morning.
“Station error is all,” Priorities USA founder and former White House spokesman Bill Burton explained. “Kind of like when the Florida station accidentally aired Restore Our Future’s anti-Gingrich ad in June.”
CNN’s electoral map [Ohio, by the way, counts for 18 electoral votes]
“The super PAC, Priorities USA, first released the ad online, and eight days later they are now putting it on air. It played for the first time in Cleveland [Tuesday] morning, according to an ad tracking source,” BuffFeed’s Zeke Miller reports.
The ad, which has caused quite a stir, has been met with harsh criticism on both sides of the aisle. Ever since it debuted, Romney officials (as well as multiple media personalities) have called on the White House to disavow the ad. The White House, however, continues to stress that it can’t do anything about ads produced by third party sources.
“With the outcry and debate, there has been much speculation about whether the ad would air at all. Priorities USA officials have been coy about the delay in the ad’s hitting the airwaves, insisting only that it has been ‘shipped to television stations’ and would air on demand,” ABC News reports.
In fact, one way White House officials have tried to deflect attention back to the Romney campaign has been to point out that the “Romney Kills” ad is only available online whereas Romney’s “racist” welfare ads are on TV.
But now that “Romney Killed my Wife” has aired in Ohio, even if it was a “station error,” does that argument still work?
Burton, as some of you may remember, defends his PAC’s ad by claiming people simply don’t “get” its message.
“Anyone who watches that 60-second ad comes away and says, ‘Mitt Romney’s responsible, at least indirectly, for this lovely woman’s death,’” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said to Burton
“I just don’t think that’s true. And we would never make that case. The point of the ad –” Burton started.
“Well then, the ad fails, because that’s the message you take away from it, Bill. Whatever message was intended in this commercial is not–nobody hears,” Blitzer interjected.
Is Blitzer wrong? Take a look for yourself:
Of course, as it has been pointed out, no one is really sure what the ad is trying to say. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of policy argument. Is it trying to say that bad things might happen to people when they get fired? Is it a wholesale condemnation of firings?
And despite Romney spokeswoman and former McCain staffer Andrea Saul bringing “Romneycare” into the debate, the ad doesn’t seem to be about opposing views of healthcare.
What, exactly, is the ad about?
Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter