Gibbs on indefensible ad: Let’s change the subject

posted at 10:01 am on August 8, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Former White House press secretary and now Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs tries to change the subject when asked on today’s Morning Joe about this cycle’s most despicable ad — the one accusing Mitt Romney of causing the death of a wife of a laid-off steelworker.  Never mind that Romney had left Bain years before GST shut down, and that Obama bundler Jonathan Lavine was actually a Bain managing director at that time.  Never mind that the woman had her own health insurance through her own job, and never mind that the death occurred years after the layoff, let alone Romney’s departure from Bain.  Robert Gibbs instead wanted Morning Joe to focus on how nasty Romney is … for criticizing Obama’s unilateral action on welfare.

Interestingly, the MSNBC panel wasn’t going to let Gibbs change the subject so easily:

“As everyone dusts off their white horse… let’s go through an ad we know the Romney campaign is entirely responsible for,” Gibbs said, pivoting to slam a new Romney campaign spot that charges the president gutted welfare reform work requirements. Gibbs said the ad untruthfully says the Obama administration has weakened the work requirements.

But panelists on “Morning Joe,” including former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, said there’s a difference between debating policy and implicating responsibility for someone’s death. “It goes to a different level. It’s a different kind of conversation,” Steele said. “You have a visceral reaction to this ad. Is it or is it not below the belt?”

Gibbs didn’t answer.

“The message is a little over the top. Can’t you admit that?” Scarborough asked.

“I don’t know the specifics of this person’s case,” Gibbs said.

“What specifics would you like to know?” Time magazine’s Mark Halperin asked. Gibbs said he didn’t know the specifics of the woman’s health care coverage. It’s been reported Soptic’s wife had health care through another employer.

Gibbs’ defense didn’t impress the panel.  Huffington Post’s Sam Stein notes the desperation that this attack represents:

If we are now going to calculate deaths on job and wealth destruction, Dan Mitchell is ready for that argument:

To make sure we’re being fair, we’ll first look at the research compiled by Cass Sunstein, who served as President Obama’s Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Writing back in 1997, he compiled 11 studiesfrom the late 1980s and early 1990s that estimated that a premature death was caused when income fell by some amount between $1.8 million and $12.4 million (roughly between $3.3 million and $22.9 million in today’s dollars).

There’s also a very thorough study by Ralph Keeney of the University of Southern California. He found that an additional fatality was linked to income losses (adjusted to today’s dollars) of between $8.42 million and $23.59 million.

Looking over much of this research, it appears that $14 million is a reasonable middle-ground estimate of how much foregone income is associated with a needless death.

Now let’s do some simple math to get an estimate of the total number of preventable deaths caused by the economy’s sub-par performance during Obama’s reign. Going by the lofty standards of Priorities USA super PAC, we’ll call this number the “Obamanomics Death Toll.”

So let’s divide $836.6 billion (our earlier estimate of foregone growth) by $14 million and we get an estimate that Obama’s policies have caused 59,757 deaths.

Mitchell calls the entire exercise “absurd,” which it is.  However, this ad’s absurdity shows just how desperate Obama and his allies have become.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Former White House press secretary and now Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs tries to change the subject when asked on today’s Morning Joe about this cycle’s most despicable ad — the one accusing Mitt Romney of causing the death of a wife of a laid-off steelworker.

These ads work, period.

Ask Bush 43 about the James Byrd ad in 2000. Ask Michael Dukakis about the Willie Horton Ad in 1988. Ask John Kerry about the Swift Boat ads.

Negative ads work, over and over and over again. That’s why we’re growing a little bit uncomfortable with the Romney campaign. They would NOT PUT UP WITH THIS from Santorum or Gingrich. They would have released Hellfire on them………….but crickets from them now.

pity.

PappyD61 on August 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Not today or any other day.

Bishop on August 8, 2012 at 10:18 AM

..do winners/recipients get a Bishop? If so, I pulled a hat trick on QUOTD last night. So, I’m..um..waiting for you to, like, come over to my house and wash my Jeep or something.

:-D

The War Planner on August 8, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Ask Bush 43 about the James Byrd ad in 2000. Ask Michael Dukakis about the Willie Horton Ad in 1988. Ask John Kerry about the Swift Boat ads.

Negative ads work, over and over and over again.

PappyD61 on August 8, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Let’s be clear about a point.

There is a difference between negative ads (Willie Horton or SWIFT Boats) and factually false ads like the one that all but said that GWB was part of Byrd’s murder or this “Romney killed my Wife” ad.

Soptic lost his wife seven years after Romney left day-to-day operations of Bain (he was near the end of his term as Governor of Mass when she died). If we are going to have a debate over the effectiveness of negative ads, we need to specifically call out and denounce these ads for what they are.

Happy Nomad on August 8, 2012 at 1:19 PM

The War Planner on August 8, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Do you want to be shot? :)

Schadenfreude on August 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Independents are moving toward Obama. The lies are working because their is no offensive from the Romney camp.

weaselyone on August 8, 2012 at 11:04 AM

..not to pig-pile on you or anything like that, old son, but PEOPLE ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION AT PRESENT relative to how they will be after the Olympics, after their Summer vacations, when their kids are back in school, etc.

If you posit that running attack ads move the needle as Obama has been doing, then it’s reasonable to assume that Romney running ads will do the same in his favor. Further, Romney’s out-raised Obama by about $25 million in each of the last three months. He will have a large cash advantage after the convention, etc. Look for the carpet bombing to commence and needle moving to occur then.

Death Star ribbon cutting ceremony in 19..18..17..

The War Planner on August 8, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Wah Wah Wah –
Someone doesn’t like a Super PAC ad and thinks it’s ‘over the top’.
This is like listening to a linebacker complain that the guys are the other team push too hard.
And now you are all oh so offended that one of Obama’s guys won’t say the bad things you want him to say?
To quote Sarah Palin…man up!

verbaluce on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Do you want to be a shot? :)

Schadenfreude on August 8, 2012 at 1:27 PM

..FIFY.

:-D

The War Planner on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

..answer is YES!

The War Planner on August 8, 2012 at 1:31 PM

(typo corrected)

Wah Wah Wah –
Someone doesn’t like a Super PAC ad and thinks it’s ‘over the top’.
This is like listening to a linebacker complain that the guys on the other team push too hard.
And now you are all oh so offended that one of Obama’s guys won’t say the bad things you want him to say?
To quote Sarah Palin…man up!

verbaluce on August 8, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Great – the uber-boob Gibbs is back in the spotlight. I’m sure we’ve all missed seeing his ugly mug and listening to his snotty-assed comments.

natasha333 on August 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

verbaluce on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Hopefully, they will soon and it will go something like this:

Guess who was making the decisions about GST Steel in 2001 while Mitt was running the Olympics?

Jonathan Lavine

Guess who was making decisions about outsourcing jobs from Sensata Technologies in 2011 — long after Romney left Bain?

Jonathan Lavine

Who is Jonathan Lavine?

He is the Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer of Bain Capital, Inc.

Do you know who else Jonathan Lavine is?

He is one of Obama’s top campaign financiers and bundlers. He has raised more that $200,000 in contributions for the 2012 Obama Victory Fund, according to estimates released by the Obama campaign.

At least FIVE of the executives, who were running Bain between 1999 and 2002, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Obama’s campaigns and he has very happily cashed their cheques.

If Bain Capital is so bad, why has President Barack Obama taken $118,121 in campaign donations from them between June 2004 and May 2012, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks Federal Election Commission data?

Mitt Romney was gone. Obama’s mega-bundler, Jonathan Lavine, was calling the shots about GST.

It would appear that, if anyone is responsible for Mrs Soptic’s death, it would be AN OBAMA MEGA BUNDLER.

Has Barack Obama ever returned one of his cheques?

Resist We Much on August 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

So the right wing hacks want the dems to unilaterally disarm right after the rmoney campaign releases an untruthful ad? Very funny. Didnt someone say politics aint beanbag? Fight back and stop whining.

Uppereastside on August 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Oh yeah, I like the crickets chirping when Gibbs did not respond that time.

jake49 on August 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Great – the uber-boob Gibbs is back in the spotlight. I’m sure we’ve all missed seeing his ugly mug and listening to his snotty-assed comments.

natasha333 on August 8, 2012 at 1:37 PM

It’s great! Can’t think of anyone else I’d rather have out there trying to entice people to vote again for Obama or change their minds about Romney.

Hee hee hee. I hope he gets more air time!

kim roy on August 8, 2012 at 1:53 PM

I can just picture Gibbsy in an SS uniform in that screen shot. He looks so Aryan and he certainly acts like a fascist supporter.

txmomof6 on August 8, 2012 at 1:59 PM

“we need to specifically call out and denounce these ads for what they are.”

crickets from the Romney camp.

I just cannot believe we’re stuck with another John McCain. I thought he would be a little tougher on Obama than the gop field but explain this MittBots? And please, drop that “primary money” crap. We all know there is plenty of money out there that they could effectively answer Reid or the Septic ad or the latest “war on women” stuff.

We all know NEGATIVE ADS WORK……….so?……..how else to explain this silence from the gop? They must want to lose the election and let Obama be the “bad cop” and grow the power of the Federal Government for them (and their $$$$$ and influence).

See, I don’t trust either party and have seen nothing from their leadership teams to conflict with that view.

I’m just disappointed that Mitt went to the trouble to destroy Gingrich and Rick but is fighting with a feather.

I guess I care about the country too much.

PappyD61 on August 8, 2012 at 2:03 PM

So the right wing hacks want the dems to unilaterally disarm right after the rmoney campaign releases an untruthful ad?

Uppereastside on August 8, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Oh, and what untruthful ad was that?

Meanwhile, why does your Obama employ tax cheats?

Why won’t your Obama Party Senators pay their “fair share”?
Why do you and your New York Obama Party endorse and support hiding overseas income and committing welfare fraud?

Isn’t that funny? Looks like your Barack Obama, your Barack Obama, and you all endorse behavior that you scream is unpatriotic, tax cheating, fraud, and criminal.

northdallasthirty on August 8, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Really don’t like the automatic refresh on this site. Any reason this is necessary? It makes it really difficult to watch videos.

Esthier on August 8, 2012 at 12:06 PM

I noticed no one was responding. Wish I could help but my computer has never auto refreshed while on this site. Could it be you need to tweek your preferences (if that’s even an option here- I confess it’s been 6 years since I’ve given a thought to my profile page/options. Other sites do offer those controls. Must be annoying to have vids stop & start.

NightmareOnKStreet on August 8, 2012 at 2:19 PM

verbaluce on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

O’bama thanks you for your vote.

Del Dolemonte on August 8, 2012 at 3:12 PM

Resist We Much on August 8, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I think you’re being a little naive to expect something that tame.

verbaluce on August 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Mark Steyn has a hilarious rebuttal to the Dems’ continuous, baseless vilification of Romney.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/313392/re-hell-you-people-again-mark-steyn

onlineanalyst on August 8, 2012 at 3:27 PM

verbaluce on August 8, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Thanks for making it clear that you libtards are in fact liars and are stupid enough to actually trust proven liars.

dentarthurdent on August 8, 2012 at 3:28 PM

This guy is a lying pathetic tool. He knows the facts but doesn’t want them to get in the way. Should ask hypothetcal questions in that case and don’t take your boot off his throat until you get an answer!

rjoco1 on August 8, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I think you’re being a little naive to expect something that tame.

verbaluce on August 8, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Honey, that’s been on my blog since you guys started the outsourcing crap about GST.

A Big Swing And A Big, Fat Miss: You Were Saying Something About Bain & Outsourcing????

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-big-swing-and-big-fat-miss-you-were.html

M2RB: Blink-182, The Wreck Room, Atlanta, 1996

It’s just a good thing that I am not involved in running campaign ads because I would have emasculated Obama a long time ago.

Resist We Much on August 8, 2012 at 3:42 PM

There is nothing more despicable than desperate communists…

Strike Hornet on August 9, 2012 at 3:17 AM

Comment pages: 1 2