WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Mitt Romney’s campaign is hitting back against an attack ad that features a former Kansas City steelworker claiming his wife died from cancer because he didn’t have health insurance after Bain Capital closed his plant.
The Priorities USA Action ad stars Joe Soptic, a former employee at GST Steel which closed down in February 2001. In the ad, Soptic tells the story of how his wife died 22 days after she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
“I don’t think Mitt Romney understands what he’s done to people’s lives by closing the plant,” Soptic said in the ad. “I don’t think he realizes that people’s lives completely changed.”
Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said the Soptic family would have been covered if they were under the former Massachusetts governor’s health care plan.
“If people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care,” she told Fox News.
Some conservative bloggers believe it was a mistake to mention Romney’s health care plan, since Republicans have assailed “Obamacare.”
“Conservatives have put aside their distrust of Romney on this issue in the name of beating Barack Obama,” the conservative blog Red State posted. “They thought he and his campaign team had gotten the message and the hints. Consider the scab picked, the wound opened, and the distrust trickling out again.”
Saul’s comments come after the ad has been picked apart.
Politco previously reported that Ranae Soptic died in 2006, years after her husband’s steel plant closed down.