Romney hit with nasty Bain ad

The anti-Romney ad "Understands" features a man who links his wife's death from cancer to Bain's buyout of the plant where he worked.

Today, Priorities USA Action, a pro-President Barack Obama super PAC, released "Understands." The minute-long ad takes aim at presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, condemning his actions when he was chairman and CEO of Bain Capital and linking the private equity firm's buyout of a steel company to a woman's death from cancer.

The ad features a former employee of a Bain-owned steel mill who says his wife put off visiting a doctor when she became ill because his family lost their health insurance following the closure of the plant where he worked. When the man’s wife finally went to the hospital, he says, it was too late — she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and died 22 days later.

"I don’t think Mitt Romney realizes what he's done to anyone," he says. "And furthermore I do not think that Mitt Romney is concerned."

Priorities USA Action reported spending almost $1.3 million on an anti-Romney television advertising buy in its most recent independent expenditure report to the Federal Election Commission. It is not certain whether or not the expenditure is tied directly to the ad.

Romney's campaign said "President Obama's allies continue to use discredited and dishonest attacks in a contemptible effort to conceal the administration's deplorable economic record," in response to the ad.

In other outside spending news:

  • Today’s Michigan primary has attracted the interest of outside spending groups, though not much cash. Prosperity for Michigan spent $17,000 on ads supporting lawyer and former Reagan administration official Clark Durant. The National Tax Limitation Committee Political Action Committee spent more than $2,700 on a pro-Rep. Fred Upton (R) phone bank. The super PAC Concerned American Voters spent upwards of $13,000 on phone bank-related expenses supporting Republican congressional candidate Kerry Bentivolio, a teacher and former automobile-design engineer.
  • Our Country Deserves Better PAC (also known as the Tea Party Express) spent $81,000 on TV and radio advertising supporting former Rep. Mark Neumann in his run for Senate in Wisconsin. Neumann is running against former Gov. Tommy Thompson and Eric Hovde in the state’s Aug. 14 GOP primary.
  • In the New Mexico Senate race, NRDC Action Fund reported spending $130,000 on two ads opposing Republican Heather Wilson: “Who’s Wilson With?” and “We’re All Paying for It.” NRDC Action Fund is part of a coalition of environmental groups working to elect Democratic Rep. Martin Heinrich; the League of Conservation Voters began running the same ads in June.
  • The Republican Majority Campaign spent $150,000 on phone calls and mail opposing President Obama.
  • The Mayors Against Illegal Guns Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, spent more than $132,000 on media buys, production and licensing for "Demand A Plan," an anti-Romney, pro-Obama ad that aired Sunday during the Olympics and political programs. The expenditure was largely backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

About the author

Alexandra Duszak is a reporter for the Center's Consider the Source project. Previously, she was the Center's 15th James R. Soles Fellow.

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