Ad Watch: Obama accuses Romney of using miners as ‘props’

Obama for America, "Mandatory"

What it says: "Seen the coal miners in these ads? Turns out they were told that attendance at Mitt Romney’s rally was, quote, "mandatory." Their mine was closed, lost the pay they needed, all to be props in Romney’s commercial."

What it means: The fight over coal workers continues. While Romney hammers Obama's policies as bad for coal, President Obama has taken a more personal approach, going after the Republican's business record and now his use of unpaid coal miners in an ad.  

What happened: Romney held a rally at Ohio's Century Mine in August, footage of which he has used in ads. Some workers later complained to a local radio host that they were forced to attend and lost pay. A top official responded that workers were told that attendance was mandatory, but that no one was forced to attend, and that the mine had to be shut down during the visit for safety reasons. Romney's camp says they did not request the closure. Murray Energy founder Robert Murray told The Columbus Dispatch that the miners were paid “for the time they were underground.”

Who will see it: Ohio. The Obama campaign has not sent out a press release on the ad. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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