It is only August. You wonder where the Obama campaign will be in October. (The Onion parody is closer to the truth than we know, I fear.)
After a day of denying that the Obama campaign had knowledge of the “Mitt killed the nice lady” ad, the Obama team coughed up the obvious truth, as Politico reported:
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki acknowledged Thursday that the campaign was no longer pleading ignorance about the story of a 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.
Missouri 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.”
Well, that was all a bunch of lies too blatant for even the mainstream media to ignore. So the next day, the Obama team tried to wiggle out of their lies about an ad that lies. You wonder how low the turnout will get with voters watching this depressing spectacle.
The Romney team responded last night with a statement that read: “The Obama campaign acknowledged today that it ran a television ad and hosted a conference call that promoted the same despicable attack that was used in a discredited ad run by President Obama’s Super PAC. The Obama campaign has now admitted that it lied to the media and the American people in a disgraceful attempt to conceal their connection to this shameful smear. Americans deserve better – they deserve a president who’s willing to run an honest campaign and be honest about his own record. Clearly, President Obama is not that person.”
Plainly, the Obama wall-to-wall media is affecting Romney’s image with voters. But the question remains whether that mud will splatter on the president as well. And more to the point, Romney may get an unexpected lift from his convention appearance. When he finally gets voters’ attention, unfiltered by the media, he is certainly not going to come off like the dastardly figure the Obama crew has made him out to be.
Obama has his own problems, starting with a right track/wrong track (minus 30 points) number and a job approval rating of less than 50 percent that suggests defeat for an incumbent. This is why he has begun the vicious onslaught.
After the primaries, when his approval rating was down, Romney got a chance to reintroduce himself on the national stage. That will happen again with the VP roll-out and the convention. The question will then be whether that new, more positive reality stays with voters through Election Day. Obama has every interest in making sure the cartoon villain image stays with voters.