Priorities USA, the super PAC backing President Barack Obama, released a brutal new advertisement on Tuesday that essentially goes for Mitt Romney's jugular, suggesting that the Republican presidential nominee is morally responsible for the death of a steelworker's wife.
The ad, titled "Understands," features the story of Joe Soptic, a former employee at GST Steel in Kansas City, Mo. After the company was purchased and subsequently closed by Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Romney, in 2001, Soptic recalls how he lost his job, his health benefits and ultimately, his wife.
"I don't know how long she was sick, and I think maybe she didn't' say anything because she knew that we couldn't afford the insurance, and then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital ... and that's when they found the cancer and by then it was stage four," Soptic said, speaking to the camera.
Soptic's wife died 22 days later.
Amid video clips of the shuttered steel plant and newspaper headlines accusing Romney of profiting from the closure of multiple American businesses, Soptic casts doubt on Romney's ability to empathize with the struggles of average Americans.
"I don't think Mitt Romney understands what he's done to anyone, and furthermore, I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned," he says, as the ad concludes.
Romney's campaign, as can be expected, was quick to blast the commercial as an example of "discredited and dishonest" attempt by Obama and his allies to "conceal the administration's deplorable economic record," according to a statement provided to The Hill.
The ad, part of a $20 million campaign by Priorities USA, will air in the coveted battleground states of Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It's the fifth ad in a series intended to highlight Romney's business record and the effect of his actions on middle class families.
Although the Obama campaign has already used the case of GST Steel to attack Romney's tenure at Bain -- Soptic previously appeared in a campaign ad, saying the plant's closing cost workers their pensions -- a May report from The Wall Street Journal pointed out the closing was more likely related to the steel industry crisis of the 1990s.
While the Romney campaign will likely accuse Democrats of launching a purely personal attack on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, recent polls have indicated the relentless focus on Romney's time at Bain Capital has resonated with voters in swing states.