Supporters of President Obama have learned a valuable lesson from a laid-off steelworker in a popular anti-Bain ad who has gone off the reservation: just because someone doesn't like Mitt Romney doesn't mean they're an Obama supporter.
The ad by Priorities USA, a pro-Obama Super PAC, focuses on Bain Capital's GS Technologies steel plant in 2001, and stars Donnie Box. "This was a booming place and Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard just making money and leaving," he says.
But In These Times, a progressive magazine, interviewed Box, and this is not the Obama campaign's preferred message:
"I think Obama is a jerk, a pantywaist, a lightweight, a blowhard. He hasn't done a goddamn thing that he said he would do. When he had a Democratic Senate and Democratic Congress, he didn't do a damn thing. He doesn't have the guts to say what’s on his mind."
This probably doesn't have the salience that it might in the mouth of, say, Warren Buffett's secretary, but the ad's been in pretty high circulation, part of a $7 million ad campaign in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, one that Priorities USA has said is partially responsible for hurting Romney's polling in swing states. Having the star of the ad call the President a "pantywaist" does sort of diffuse what was an effective bomb.
Nevertheless, don't expect to hear Mitt Romney trumpeting a defection. Box still tells In These Times, "There is no doubt in my mind when he came in with Bain Capital, he was the President and CEO of that corporation."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.