A super PAC supporting former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is out with a warmhearted spot about a former Bain Capital colleague whose missing daughter Romney helped find.
It’s an effective way to humanize a candidate who is struggling to connect with voters. But the ad also raises questions about how independent super PACs — groups that can raise unlimited funds but cannot coordinate with campaigns — really are.
“My 14- year-old daughter had disappeared in New York City for 3 days. No one could find her,” says narrator Robert Gay, his voice cracking, in the new Restore Our Future spot.
“My business partner stepped forward to take charge. He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York. He said I don't care how long takes, we're going to find her. He set up a command center and searched through the night. The man who helped save my daughter was Mitt Romney. Mitt's done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible. But, for me, the most important thing he's ever done is to help save my daughter.”
The story is true — Politifact checked it out back when Romney used the same ad, word-for-word and shot--for-shot, back in 2007:
Melissa Gay went to a rave in New York, got high on ecstasy and disappeared for days. While she was eventually turned in by a New Jersey teen who had seen her on local news, police credit the Bain Capital search with raising awareness about the case.
Charlie Spies, the super PAC's treasurer, said the group "purchased the rights to the footage from its owner Cold Harbor films, which did not entail interacting with the Romney campaign."