Democratic Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz distanced herself from the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA on Sunday. Wasserman Shultz said in an interview that she had “no idea” what the political affiliation of the Super PAC even was. Priorities USA, which was founded by two prior Obama senior staffers, has recently come under attack for an ad suggesting that Mitt Romney was responsible for a woman’s death while he was at Bain Capital.
Wasserman Shultz made the incredulous remarks on Fox News Sunday, and it didn’t take Republicans long to attack her for the statement. Priorities USA was started last year by Bill Burton, a 2008 Obama campaign staffer and Obama White House spokesman, and Sean Sweeney, an Obama administration political aide.
Last week, Priorities USA released the ad which features ex-steel worker Joe Soptic. Soptic makes the claim that after Romney led Bain Capital took over his steel mill, they shuttered it and he lost his health coverage. His wife subsequently died of cancer.
There are some glaring mistruths in the ad, though, that are causing the group headaches. Soptic lost his insurance and his wife died more than five years later when Romney wasn’t even with Bain Capital anymore. Additionally, Soptic’s wife had her own coverage from her own job.
Wasserman Shultz said of the ad:
“That’s a Priorities USA, not a Democratic ad … which we have nothing to do with. I have no idea of the political affiliation of folks who are associated with that Super PAC.”
The White House had acknowledged a connection between themselves and Priorities USA. The Obama White House gives the group access to its events and helps them raise money.