CNN's Begala Defends 2012 Ad Hinting Romney Contributed to Death of Steelworker's Wife

During CNN’s election night coverage Tuesday, sparks flew when CNN commentator and NewsBusters contributor Jeffery Lord sparred with Paul Begala of the Pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA. Begala was defending a deceptive ad his organization produced in 2012 that claimed Governor Mitt Romney killed a steel worker’s wife by canceling his healthcare coverage.

The panel was discussing why Donald Trump’s supporters love him. Lord, who is a Trump supporter, stated they loved him because he hits back against what’s perceived as unfair. As evidence of the unfair attacks from the left Lord pointed to the ridiculous anti-Romney ad from 2012.

Begala was having none of it. He launched into a tirade about how it was a fair attack even though the wife had her own health insurance that she ended up losing:

I did that! The campaign did not! And he did not say that! No! This matters to me. Mitt Romney took over Joe Soptic’s company, laid him off and canceled his health insurance. Later his wife lost her job as well, unrelated to Romney. She lost her health insurance. She died of cancer. That's a fair attack about a man's business record and the consequence of laying off middle class people. 

If the ad was about the importance of health insurance for middle class Americans then Begala would be correct, but it wasn’t. The ad tied Romney’s actions at Bain Capital to the death of Soptic’s wife, a claim that has been proven false by many news outlets. 

Transcript below: 

CNN
America’s Choice 2016: Super Tuesday 4
April 26, 2016
9:47:41 PM Eastern

VAN JONES: There is something desperately wrong with the country.

JEFFREY LORD: But in fairness, when the Obama campaign a mere four years ago was putting a steel worker on television to say basically that Mitt Romney killed the guy's wife. I mean, -- 

PAUL BEGALA: I did that! The campaign did not! And he did not say that! 

LORD: It was you? Well--

BEGALA: No! This matters to me. Mitt Romney took over Joe Soptic’s company, laid him off and canceled his health insurance. Later his wife lost her job as well, unrelated to Romney. She lost her health insurance. She died of cancer. 

LORD: Okay.

BEGALA: That's a fair attack about a man's business record and the consequence of laying off middle class people. 

Tell the Truth 2016

LORD: I’m just saying, the perception on my side of the isle was that you guys go for the jugular. And so therefore the criticism of Mitt Romney, John McCain, of everybody going back to Thomas E. Dewey, with the sole exception of Ronald Reagan, is that they don't play on the same field. That's the perception and that's one of the reasons why they like Donald Trump. 

JONES: They like Donald Trump because they think he’s going to punch back.

LORD: They think he’s Begala.

[Laughter] 


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