Romney Campaign Ad Hits Obama on Character After Bain Attacks

Mitt Romney, his character under assault by Democrats for his record as an executive at the Bain Capital LLC private-equity firm, is questioning President Barack Obama’s integrity in a new campaign advertisement.

“What does it say about a president’s character when his campaign tries to use the tragedy of a woman’s death for political gain?” the presumed Republican nominee’s ad says. “Doesn’t America deserve better than a president who will say or do anything to stay in power?”

The commercial released today by the campaign is a response to one last week from a pro-Obama super-political action committee that tied Romney to the death of a woman whose husband lost his job and health insurance after the closing of the Bain- owned plant where he worked.

In the ad by Priorities USA Action, former steelworker Joe Soptic describes losing his wife to cancer and casts Romney as an uncaring businessman who values profits over people. “I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone,” Soptic says in the ad, which has attracted media attention even though it hasn’t aired yet. “And furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.”

Romney, who founded Bain, had left the firm before the plant closed, and Soptic’s wife, who died five years later, had kept her own job and health insurance for a period of time after her husband lost his position, according to a Washington Post fact-check, which gave the Priorities USA ad “four Pinocchios,” its worst rating for truthfulness.

Romney is ramping up his bid after naming Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential running mate. The former Massachusetts governor is increasingly making the case that his is the campaign of ideas and optimism while Obama’s is one of distortions and petty charges.

“Mr. President,” Romney shouted at an Aug. 12 homecoming rally for Ryan in Waukesha, Wisconsin. “Take your campaign out of the gutter!”

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Hirschfeld Davis in Washington at jdavis159@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net

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