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Wednesday
Oct312012

Biden Calls Romney Jeep Ad ‘Outrageous Lie’

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(SARASOTA, Fla.) -- Vice President Biden launched a stinging critique of Mitt Romney for an Ohio ad suggesting the president allowed Chrysler to move Jeep operations to China, calling Romney’s ad an “outrageous lie.”

The vice president said the ad was an act of “desperation” and he accused the GOP nominee of using scare tactics to frighten thousands of autoworkers in the final days of the campaign.

“They are running the most scurrilous ad in Ohio. And I mean this sincerely… one of the most flagrantly dishonest ads I can ever remember in my political career,” Biden said at the Municipal auditorium. “It’s an outrageous lie. A lie, a lie that is so deceptive and so patently untrue that the Chrysler corporation, including the chairman of the board of Chrysler, they actually spoke up.”

Executives at GM and Chrysler have rebutted the ad Romney released last week, and the vice president said the Romney campaign is using the ad to “scare the living devil” out of Ohio autoworkers.

“Maybe it’s just me. Maybe because it makes me so…so,” Biden said holding his tongue and adding. “I’m being a good Biden today. Why would they do this? Why would they do this in the face of the overwhelming facts contradicting them? I’ll tell you why I think they’re doing it. They’re trying to scare the living devil out of a group of people who have been hurt so badly...because of the previous four years before we came to office.”

“These are auto workers waking up in their communities just a couple of days ago to see this ad and guess what they were calling? Thousands of them were calling their UAW reps, is it true? Is it true? Is Jeep really going to leave?…  What a cynical, cynical thing to do….To go out and try to scare these people for electoral reasons at the end, to say something that’s so untrue,” Biden said.

Biden accused Romney of spreading “confusion” with his ad, an attribute the vice president said a president shouldn’t possess.

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan defended the ad Wednesday.

“American taxpayers are on track to lose $25 billion as a result of President Obama’s handling of the auto bailout, and GM and Chrysler are expanding their production overseas. These are facts that voters deserve to know as they listen to the claims President Obama and his campaign are making. President Obama has chosen not to run on the facts of his record, but he can’t run from them,” Ryan said.

The vice president resumed his first full day of campaigning Wednesday in Florida after his events in Ohio were cancelled Tuesday due to Superstorm Sandy. Biden lauded the bipartisan tone governors, mayors and federal officials have adopted in their organization of storm relief efforts and hoped that attitude of cooperation would extend beyond the election.

“It’s working like it used to work when I was a young senator. We’ve got Democrats and Republicans working together,” he said.

With less than six days until Election Day, Biden is on his final trip through Florida, a state that he’s visited 10 times including this trip. As the crowd chanted “four more years,” Biden warned the supporters, “We gotta get through the next six days.”

But while he sharpened his attacks against Romney in his speech, Biden shortly after turned his attention to 2016, jokingly telling a Republican voter over the phone at a restaurant called 400 Station that he just might be on the ticket in 2016.

“Well look, I’m not trying to talk you into voting for me, I just wanted to say hi to you, okay?” Biden said over the phone. “And after it’s all over when your insurance rates go down then you’ll vote for me in 2016. I’ll talk to you later.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct092012

Obama Campaign Pecks at Romney with Big Bird Ad

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A new ad out Tuesday by President Obama’s campaign pokes fun at GOP nominee Mitt Romney's comment during last week’s debate that he would cut funding to PBS to help reduce the deficit even though he likes the Sesame Street character Big Bird.

The tongue-in-cheek commercial suggests that Big Bird is a bigger menace than such convicted financial figures as Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay and Dennis Kozlowski.

According to the voiceover, “Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about; it’s Sesame Street” -- a line the president has used on the campaign trail.

The spot, which also features Big Bird, finishes with the tag line, “Mitt Romney: taking on our enemies, no matter where they nest.”

In a separate statement, the Obama campaign says that while the president has tried to hold big banks accountable, “Mitt Romney, has shown true conviction by vowing to take down Big Bird and keep Sesame Street under control.”

According to the statement, “You would need to cut PBS more than 1,000 times to fill the hole in Romney’s budget promises!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep262012

Samuel L. Jackson Tells Obama Voters to ‘Wake the F*** Up’

ABC/Eric McCandless(NEW YORK) -- If winning the presidential election was directly correlated with how many F-bombs celebrities dropped on your behalf, President Obama would have this thing on lock.

In a video parody of Adam Mansbach’s book Go the F*** to Sleep, Actor Samuel L. Jackson drops a half-dozen while telling voters to “wake the f*** up” and vote in November. The video is expected to be released Thursday.

“Sorry, my friends, but there’s no time to snore. An out-of-touch millionaire just declared war. On schools, the environment, unions, fair pay, we’re all on our own if Romney has his way,” Jackson says as the camera zeros in on his increasingly livid face. “And he’s against safety nets. If you fall, tough luck. So I strongly suggest that you wake the f*** up.”

Jackson, whose reading of Go the F*** to Sleep went viral on YouTube last year, now joins comedian Sarah Silverman in the profanity-laced pro-Obama video category. In a video launched last week comedian Sarah Silverman lambasted “super f****d up” voter ID laws, which could bar largely Democratic minorities from voting.

Both stars’ videos were produced by the Jewish Council on Education and Research Super PAC. Each video mixes profanity with policy, contrasting, in the case of the Jackson video, Obama’s policies with his GOP rival Mitt Romney’s plans.

Mansbach, who wrote the script for the 3-minute video, said the profanity was necessary to convey the “urgency” of getting involved in the election.

“We wanted to do that because it’s real,” Mansbach told ABC News. “For certain kinds of emotions and situations that language is the most evocative and effective.”

And with an actor like Samuel L. Jackson on board, Mansback said the F-bomb was a must.

“He’s the best in the world at dropping the F-bomb,” the author said. “If I can’t figure out a way to set him up, I’m not doing my job.”

Whether he’s popping up behind grandparents to shouting at a lazy college student, Jackson punctuates a video that has an otherwise fairy-tale feel with stark comparisons and staccato calls to action.

“We’ve come a long way but there’s still more to do. We need you all back in the fight ’til it’s through. Of course you’re all busy and finding time’s rough but you can sleep when you’re dead but right now,” Jackson says before the little girl Suzie screams out her window, “Wake the f*** up!”

The full video will go live Thursday morning.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep172012

‘Democrats for Lingle’: Hawaii Senate Candidate’s Ad Features Republicans

Douglas Graham/Roll Call(HONOLULU) -- Hawaii GOP Senate candidate Linda Lingle’s newest ad is purported to feature Democrats who support her -- and it does. But the TV spot, originally posted online under the headline "Democrats for Lingle," also features several Republicans.

"I’m a Democrat, and I’m voting for Linda Lingle," says Elaine Slavinsky, the first person to appear onscreen. Slavinsky ran for state Senate as a Republican in 2004.

"I know she’s gonna work with both parties to get things done," says Jan Shishido, who formerly headed the Maui County Republican Party and ran for state House as a Republican in 2004.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee produced research on five other people with varying degrees of GOP affiliation who appear in the ad.

The ad itself does not identify the speakers as Democrats, and the campaign has since changed its online banner to read, “People Across the State Agree.” Slavinsky is the only person in the ad with previous GOP affiliations to identify herself on camera as a Democrat.

The Lingle campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. When contacted by the Honolulu Civil Beat, Lingle spokeswoman Corrie Heck told the paper:

"What the DSCC ignores is the three very prominent Democrat leaders featured in the spot: a former Democrat state Senator, the former State protocol officer who worked for 5 of Hawaii’s Governors (four of whom are Democrats), and a self-identified Democrat supporter who plans to vote for President Obama.

While the spot was labeled 'Democrats' during the transfer to the stations, no where in the spot do we state that all individuals featured are Democrats. The spot is about people across the state -- from diverse backgrounds, political affiliations and perspectives -- that agree Linda Lingle is the clear choice for U.S. Senate. As your research will point out, there are several current and retired public school teachers included in the spot, as well as a native Hawaiian community leader, in addition to the Democrat supporters. These individuals are representative of the broad spectrum of supporters who are backing Linda Lingle for U.S. Senate."


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep122012

Obama Ad Misleads on AARP Position on Romney

Alex Wong/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- The Obama campaign has released their third new TV ad in 24 hours, a 30-second spot invoking the AARP Voter Guide to discredit the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan.

This ad misleads by suggesting that AARP states as “fact” what is the Obama campaign’s view.

“Fact: Barack Obama will protect your guaranteed benefits and will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program,” the ad says, showing excerpts from the AARP guide. “Fact: Mitt Romney would take away Medicare as guaranteed benefits and instead give future retirees ‘premium support’ or vouchers.”

An examination of the AARP guide reveals, however, that the nonpartisan organization does not make either of those claims.

The document quotes directly from each candidate’s website about his plan for Medicare reform.  The section “AARP’s Position” makes no mention of Obama or Romney and is sufficiently broad that one could argue either candidate’s plan fits the bill.

Here’s that section in the voter guide:

“Medicare should be strengthened and improved so both current and future generations can count on having access to high-quality, affordable coverage.  Medicare should continue to guarantee a specific set of benefits that are affordable and meet a person’s health care needs. Medicare should offer choices that ensure access to high-quality health care. Medicare should improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of care by emphasizing value and cracking down on fraud, waste, and abuse.”

AARP senior vice president John Hishta said in a statement last month after Obama first invoked the group in a TV ad that the group “is a nonpartisan organization and we do not endorse political candidates.”

“For the last 26 years, we’ve been providing voters with balanced information, without all the political jargon and spin, so they can make their own decisions on Election Day,” Hishta said.

To be sure, AARP has opposed proposals to create a “premium support,” or voucher-style, system for Medicare, a stance that would seem to pit them against the Romney-Ryan ticket on a matter of policy.

In a letter to members of Congress in March, AARP CEO A. Barry Rand wrote of the House GOP budget, “By creating a ‘premium support’ system for future Medicare beneficiaries, the proposal is likely to simply increase costs for beneficiaries while removing Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage -- a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work.”

The group also opposes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a move it says would among other things re-open the prescription drug “doughnut hole” for seniors and lead to higher costs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug232012

Bill Clinton Ad Blesses Obama Economics

Frank Polich/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former President Bill Clinton makes his 2012 campaign TV ad debut in a new spot affirming President Obama’s economic plan.

“This election to me is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment.  This is a clear choice,” Clinton says directly to the camera.

“We need to keep going with his plan,” he says of Obama.

The endorsement underscores just how valuable and credible Team Obama sees Clinton in the quest to influence persuadable voters in a handful of key swing states.  The popular 42nd president has appeared with Obama on the stump, in campaign web ads and at events to support the pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA Action.

Obama regularly invokes Clinton in his argument for higher taxes on upper-income earners, arguing that the approach taken during the 1990s -- “our plan” -- led to budget surpluses and millions of new jobs.

“The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper income people and go back to deregulation.  That’s what got us in trouble in the first place,” Clinton says in the new ad, which begins airing Thursday in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada.

This spot, titled “Clear Choice,” is also noteworthy for what it does not mention: Mitt Romney.  In terms of tone, this is the first positive TV ad from the Obama campaign in nearly a month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug212012

Todd Akin Asks for Forgiveness in New Ad

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(NEW YORK) -- Amid growing pressure for him to drop out of Missouri's Senate race, Rep. Todd Akin released a new ad Tuesday asking for forgiveness over remarks he made about women rarely becoming pregnant from "legitimate rape."

"Rape is an evil act.  I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that I apologize," Akin says in the 30-second spot titled "Forgiveness."

The Republican congressman is referring to an interview with KTVI-TV that aired Sunday in which he said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Those comments have led to a backlash from several Republicans, who are calling on Akin to exit the race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.  It has also caused the super PAC American Crossroads to pull funding for his campaign.

"As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for predators. I have a compassionate heart for the victims of sexual assault.  I pray for them.  The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy.  The truth is, rape has many victims," Akin says in the new ad.

"The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold.  I ask for your forgiveness," the video concludes.

Akin has insisted he's staying in the race, telling Mike Huckabee's radio show on Monday that he is "not a quitter."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug142012

Debunked, 'Disgusting' Ad Tying Romney to Cancer Death Allegedly Airs ‘in Error’

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A controversial TV ad tying Mitt Romney to a woman’s cancer death aired Tuesday for the first time in Ohio, allegedly in error, according to the pro-Obama super PAC that produced it.

"Station error is all," explained Priorities USA Action senior strategist Bill Burton. "Kind of like when the Florida station accidentally aired Restore Our Future's anti-Gingrich ad in June."

The ethics and accuracy of the claims in the 30-second spot -- titled "Understands" -- have been the subject of intense debate since it first appeared online one week ago, with former President Clinton aide Lanny Davis calling it "disgusting."

His criticism wasn't alone. Republicans and some other Democrats say the group crossed a line in suggesting Romney’s role at Bain Capital contributed to a woman’s death. Fact-checkers debunked the ad's suggestion that the woman died after her husband's layoff from a Bain-owned factory or the allegation she lacked health insurance because of the move. 

The Obama campaign first said it wasn't familiar with the ad, but was forced to backpedal when fact-checkers found the ad's main speaker, Joe Soptic, in other pro-Obama ads. The administration has refused to disavow the ad, claiming no affiliation with the super PAC -- even though administration officials have fundraised for it and former White House staffers run its operations.

Burton has argued that criticism of the ad is overblown and that it fairly reflects the long-term consequences of bankruptcies and corporate buyouts by Romney’s Bain Capital -- despite the fact that the spot's allegations have been debunked.

With the outcry and debate, there has been much speculation about whether the ad would air at all. Priorities USA officials have been coy about the delay in the ad’s hitting the airwaves, insisting only that it has been, “shipped to television stations” and would air on demand.

The free attention garnered by the controversy alone seemed to be a desired effect of Priorities. The spot has had over 700,000 views online, and as of Friday, four of the top five states in which it's been viewed online include Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, a Priorities official said.

BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller first reported Tuesday night that the ad officially aired in Cleveland that morning, citing an, "ad buy tracking source."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug102012

Romney, Obama Launch Dueling 'War on Women' Ads

Saul Loeb/AFP/J.D. Pooley/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- Days after the Obama campaign released an ad criticizing Romney for wanting to cut Planned Parenthood funding and being "really out of touch with the average woman's health issues," Romney's campaign released an ad online Thursday that accuses the president of using his health care law to wage a "war on religion."

"President Obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion, forcing religious institutions to go against their faith," says the narrator in the 30-second spot.  "Mitt Romney believes that's wrong."

The ad then shows a clip of Romney speaking in Poland, where former President Lech Walesa endorsed the GOP candidate.

"In 1979, a son of Poland, Pope John Paul II, spoke words that would bring down an empire. ... Be not afraid'..." Romney says before the narrator cuts back in to ask, "When religious freedom is threatened, who do you want to stand with?"

The day before this health care-centered ad came out, Romney's campaign criticized his rival for shifting the focus away from the economy with Obama's renewed attention on women's health issues.

"Hundreds of thousands of women have lost their jobs, poverty among women is highest in nearly two decades, and half of recent graduates can't find a good job," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.  "Middle-class families have struggled in the Obama economy, and Mitt Romney has a plan to strengthen the middle class and get our country back on the right track."

Obama went on a two-day swing through Colorado this week, touting the women's health provisions in his health care law.  While provisions such as co-pay-free mammograms and STD testing have been fairly uncontroversial, the law's mandate that health insurance carriers cover birth control at no cost has many Republicans and religious organizations up in arms.

"Mr. Romney's running as the candidate of conservative values.  There's nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions," Obama said Wednesday in Denver.

At his Denver rally, the president appeared for the first time with Sandra Fluke, who has become the Democratic face of the contraception debate after conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" by for testifying in support of co-pay-free contraception.

While Obama and Fluke touted the president's women's health protections on the trail, his campaign came out with an ad that had actress Elizabeth Banks endorsing Obama because he has "not compromised on women's rights" while Romney wants to cut funding for Planned Parenthood.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Aug092012

Fatal Mistake? Obama Campaign Backtracks: Admits Knowing Story Behind Criticized Anti-Romney 'Cancer' Ad

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- One day after claiming the Obama campaign had no knowledge of the story of the man included in a pro-Obama super PAC ad, spokeswoman Jen Psaki was forced to admit the campaign had worked with him before.

“No one is denying that he was in one of our campaign ads,” Psaki told reporters aboard Air Force One, referring to Joe Soptic, who was shown in a Priorities USA Action ad essentially blaming Mitt Romney for his wife’s death.

“What’s clear here, again, is that we’re focusing so much on an ad that has not run yet, that was done by an outside group,” Psaki stressed.

In the ad, which Priorities USA Action still plans to air later this week, Soptic, a former GST Steel worker, explains how he lost his job and health benefits when Romney’s Bain Capital closed his plant. Soptic’s wife later became ill and died shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer. "I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone, and furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned," Soptic says in the ad.

What the ad doesn't say, because it completely undercuts its story, is that Romney had left Bain by the point at which Soptic was laid off, and also, Soptic's wife had her own health insurance through her own job.

Psaki deflected the criticism for the Soptic commercial -- which Democratic strategist and former President Clinton top aide Lanny Davis today called "disgusting" -- by bringing up a different ad, Romney’s campaign spot attacking the president's welfare reforms.

The Romney ad touts Preisdeint Obama got rid of many of the Clinton-era welfare changes, like a mandate welfare recipients must be working or actively trying to find work to get their benefits. Psaki claimed that a "bold-face lie."

“We know that there’s a debate that’s going on out there between ads on the airwaves,” she said. “But there’s been a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison here, when we’re comparing an ad that has not even run, by an outside group we have nothing to do with, with an ad that is the basis of Mitt Romney’s campaign right now, that is a bold-face lie about the president’s record on welfare.  And I think that’s frustrating to us because they’re being compared at the same level.”

Going a step further, Psaki said that no one was asking the Romney campaign to explain ads being run by the Republican super PAC.

“I saw an ad yesterday that is being run by a Republican outside group that questions whether the president was born in the United States and shows a picture of his birth certificate with a question mark on it.  No one is asking the Romney campaign about that ad and what they think about that ad. So as we talk about apples and oranges, that’s the apples-to-apples comparison I’ll leave you with,” she said.

In response, the Romney campaign said the president’s campaign had been caught lying.

“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,” Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said. “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.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio