Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod refused to condemn the recent Priorities USA Super PAC ad suggesting Mitt Romney was responsible for the cancer death of steelworker Joe Soptic’s wife during appearances on several Sunday morning talk shows.
The ad has been condemned the Romney campaign and by numerous news organizations including Axelod’s hometown paper The Chicago Tribune. Axelrod chose instead to change the subject when asked about President Obama’s thoughts about the ad by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week.
Axelrod suggested the ad did not accuse Romney of killing Soptic’s wife and deflected the question by making the question about a Romney ad accusing Obama of ending the work requirement for welfare.
“Everybody who’s looked this his ad says it is false, and it ends with him saying ‘I’m Mitt Romney, and I’ve approved this message,’” Axelrod said. “He attacks others for ads that we didn’t run and we didn’t produce. He’s the one who needs to explain.”
He then continued down the well-worn path of accusing Romney of being responsible for Bain Capital’s decision to close down GST Steel after he had left active participation in the venture capital firm’s day-to-day business decisions, even if he wasn’t responsible for Soptic’s wife’s death.
“That’s a real issue,” Axelrod said. “He has run on his business experience, and his business is things like the GSteel story.”
Axelrod continued down a similar path during appearances on NBC’s Meet the Press where he told host David Gregory that Romney “ought to be ashamed of himself” for lecturing the Obama campaign on its tactics.
“It’s not true; it’s not fair,” Axelrod said, once again referring to Romney’s welfare-reform ad. “When he does that maybe he’ll have some standing to lecture other people on the quality of the campaign.”
Axelrod also repeated the attack he had made against Romney for the GST Steel closure despite the fact the presumptive GOP nominee was not involved in Bain Capital’s business decisions at the time.