Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter has been accused of lying about discussing the details of pro-Obama ad star Joe Soptic's damning claims leveled at Mitt Romney.
Cutter hosted a conference call with Soptic and others as the pro-Obama ad aired in May.
Now, Cutter, a top Obama campaign official, stands accused of lying over what she knew about the man at the center of an anti-Romney super PAC ad that attempts to tie Romney to his wife's death. according to a Fox News report.
Obama and his supporters have invested heavily in ads that attempt to tie Romney with plant closings during his tenure with Bain, however the credibility of Obama’s ads has come under greater scrutiny.
Soptic, star of the controversial Obama ad produced by the pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA, blamed Mitt Romney for his lack of insurance because he was unemployed when his wife took sick and died of cancer. Bain and other controlling interests shuttered the economically-troubled plant and Soptic is used in the ad to portray Romney as the villain.
Cutter, in May, personally hosted a conference call in which Soptic laid out his story to reporters. Joe Soptic, on the Obama campaign conference call, discussed losing his job and his wife’s diagnosis and death.
“Now I’ll turn the call back over to Stephanie.” Soptic said during the conference call on May 14, 2012, as confirmed in a National Review report.
Stephanie Cutter responded: “Thank you, Joe. We really appreciate you sharing your experiences.”
Fast forward to this morning on CNN, when Cutter was asked about the PrioritiesUSA ad featuring former steelworker Joe Soptic, suggesting that Mitt Romney is responsible for his wife’s death:
“I don’t know the facts of when Joe Soptic’s wife got sick, or when she died,” Cutter said.
As questions swirl about the timing of Soptic's story and whether Romney was even at Bain during that time, Obama officials are seeking to distance themelves.
However Cutter's credibility seems to have been snared by her own words during the television interview.
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign listed Soptic as one of the "faces of Romney economics."
Former presidential spokesman turned Obama advisor Robert Gibbs was drawn into the controversy Wednesday and claimed he also knew nothing about the Obama ad star.
"This is an ad by an entity that's not controlled by campaign. I certainly don't know the specifics of this man's case," Gibbs told MSNBC.
Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said he was aware of the conference call and said that Soptic discussed his situation during it, however failed to elaborate on any details having to do with timing of events as portrayed in the pro-Obama ad.
"Joe Soptic suffered when he lost his job in the aftermath of the GST Steel plant closing, and no one is denying that he discussed that when he appeared in a campaign advertisement and on a conference call, said LaBolt.
Romney's campaign has accused Obama's team of flat-out "lying" about their familiarity with the case. Obama's campaign and his supporters have spent tens of millions of dollars attacking Romney on his success developing Bain, however on average, the candidates are roughly tied in national poll averages.
Romney has fired back at the Obama camp on Bain ads. "President Obama and his campaign are willing to say and do anything to hide the President's disappointing record. But they're not entitled to repeatedly mislead voters," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a statement Wednesday.
This is not the first time an Obama political ad backfired. Donnie Box, a steelworker in Missouri who lost his job and starred in an anti-Mitt Romney advertisement being run by a Super PAC that supports President Barack Obama said he will not vote to re-elect the president in November, as reported in The Weekly Standard.
"I could really care less about Obama," Box said. The lifelong Democrat, in an article written by Mike Elk on the In These Times website, called the president "a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn’t done a goddamn thing that he said he would do," Box said.