The AFSCME ad compares Romney to Rick Scott (R), the unpopular Florida governor who headed a hospital conglomerate prosecuted for Medicare fraud in the 1990s. The message dovetails with criticism this week from Winning Our Future, a pro-
Gingrich super PAC that plans to run as much as $10 million worth of ads against Romney in Florida.
The AFSCME spot, running in Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach, focuses on Damon Corp., a medical testing firm that was prosecuted for Medicare fraud committed while it was owned by Bain Capital, which was then headed by Romney.
New ad in Florida from Winning Our Future, a super PAC supporting former House speaker Newt Gingrich, attacks former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. (Jan. 24)
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The ad shows Romney morphing into Scott with the words: “Corporate greed. Medicare fraud. Sound familiar?”
The radio ad from Priorities USA and SEIU focuses on Romney’s Spanish-language advertising and other outreach efforts with Hispanic voters in Florida, which the groups call “insincere and disingenuous.”
Romney has taken a hard line on border policies during the primaries and has vowed to veto the Dream Act, a bill that would create a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who are college students and military service members. He and Gingrich are both vying for support among the state’s large Hispanic bloc, including its influential Cuban American population.
“Mitt Romney has no shame,” the SEIU radio ad’s narrator says in Spanish. “He shows one face to the Hispanic community and another, completely different one to everyone else.”
Eliseo Medina, SEIU’s secretary-treasurer, said Romney “happens to be the one who went beyond the pale with his recent comments. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum shouldn’t feel neglected. As the campaign goes on, we will be evaluating them, too.”
Broadcast ads aren’t the only tactic available to Democratic-aligned groups hoping to influence the Republican contest. American Bridge for the 21st Century, a liberal super PAC that focuses mostly on opposition research, blanketed Columbia, S.C., with hundreds of hot-pink leaflets trumpeting Romney’s support for gay rights during the Massachusetts phase of his political career.
The group said the leafleting was aimed at sowing doubts among Republicans in the state about Romney’s conservative bona fides.
“It’s not that we were trying to portray him as a quote-unquote liberal, but to show that he’s flip-flopped on so many key issues,” American Bridge spokesman Ty Matsdorf said. “It’s highlighting his lack of core beliefs.”
Staff writer T.W. Farnam contributed to this report.