Fla GOP chairman calls on Dems to denounce anti-Romney ad
August 9, 2012
Rod Smith, Chairman
Florida Democratic Party
214 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Dear Chairman Smith,
As we both know, politics is rough and tumble, and a lot things fly back and forth in a
campaign. But there are moments where we need to step back and call a wrong a wrong.
The recent Priorities USA ad, which is funded by Obama donors and which Obama senior staff
has raised money for, is running one of the more despicable ads I have ever seen. The ad
featuring Joe Soptic is shameful and as one liberal pundit put it, “it is unbecoming a campaign
for President of the United States.”
Let’s be clear. In their ad, Obama’s allies have exploited a painful and personal story about the
loss of this man’s wife, they have lied about the facts, and they have used this woman’s death to
suggest that Mitt Romney is responsible. It’s appalling.
Even though Mitt Romney was not at Bain, though the deceased had health insurance, though
she passed away nearly 6 years after the closing of this plant, and though the entire ad is
premised on lies, the Obama backing Priorities USA team is still accusing Mitt Romney for the
cause of a woman’s death. It is disgusting and beyond the pale.
The only thing more disgraceful and shameful than the ad itself is that President Obama and his
campaign continue to stand behind the ad.
Now, you and I are both well aware of the laws barring coordination between campaigns and
Super PACs, but for the President and his campaign to hide behind that law and give tacit
endorsement to this ad is cowardly and untrue. There is nothing preventing President Obama
from stepping up and saying this ad is wrong. As a candidate, he promised to change the tone in
Washington, but that appears to be just another broken promise.
This is the second time in less than a week that President Obama has failed a leadership test. It
started with Harry Reid and his disgraceful lies which he spread on the Floor of the United States
Senate. What makes President Obama’s behavior so shameful is that he is not living up to the
standard he set for himself and for this campaign.
This isn’t a policy debate. This isn’t about questioning Mitt Romney on an issue he supports. The
President of the United States of America, through his campaign, through his surrogates like
Harry Reid, and through his Super PACs, is trying to demonize and destroy the character of Mitt
Romney. And he is doing it in as vile and untrue a manner as any of us have ever seen. He
decided to go after Mitt Romney personally and it is a despicable reflection on the type of
campaign President Obama is running.
Chairman, I know we disagree on many policy issues, but I also know you are a decent guy.
In 2000, you were the subject of a disgraceful smear ad during your Democratic Primary for
State Senator. I was impressed to see your press conference condemning the ad in the strongest
possible terms. Also in 2000, Charlie Crist ran an ad attacking his Democratic opponent for a
DUI that had happened decades earlier. As you remember, my predecessor at this Party, Al
Cardenas, condemned the ad, as did Governor Jeb Bush. Charlie Crist had to pull the ad.
I’m calling on you today to do the right thing today and condemn this ad. Your voice is strong,
and to condemn the ad across Florida will send a message to President Obama and to his advisers
that this type of smear tactic isn’t going to fly in our state.
Then, let’s get back to having a serious debate on the issues facing our country and our state.
Chairman, Republican Party of Florida