Tales from the Trail

Ad connecting Romney to company in Medicare fraud case “mostly true”

Last week a public workers union launched a television ad that raised an old question about presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s connection to Damon Corp, a company that defrauded Medicare by the millions while under the watch of Romney’s private equity firm Bain Capital. Thursday, the Super PAC Winning Our Future, which supports Romney’s Republican rival Newt Gingrich released the trailer for a campaign video titled “Blood Money” that echoes the same criticism.

The ad created by AFSCME equates Romney with Florida Governor Rick Scott whose approval rating is one of the lowest in the country. Scott is the former CEO of the hospital chain Columbia/HCA that became embroiled in a Medicare fraud case in the late 1990s.

A narrator speaking over black and white photos of Romney says he was director of Damon Corp, which was later fined $100 million for medicare fraud. Romney’s image morphs into that of Rick Scott as the narrator asks, “Corporate greed … Medicare fraud. Sound familiar?”

PolitiFact, a fact-checking site run by the Tampa Bay Times, called the ad “Mostly True.” Although it is true Romney was head of Damon Corporation, which did defraud Medicare by the millions, Romney was never personally implicated, the site says.

See the video from AFSCME here, from PolitiFact’s site:

See the trailer for Winning Our Future’s campaign video (much more dramatic) here, from their Youtube page:

Gingrich mocks Romney for speaking French

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich may have backtracked from a recent campaign ad attacking Romney as a job-killer during his tenure at Bain Capital, but he’s still accusing him of another act that may nettle some conservatives: speaking French.

In a web ad titled “The French Connection,” a deep-voiced narrator describes Romney as a liberal governor who authored government-mandated health care and raised taxes in his state of Massachusetts but who now masquerades as a conservative.

The narrator says, “Massachusetts moderate Mitt Romney, he’ll say anything to win — anything. And just like John Kerry, he speaks French.”

Battered by negative ads, Gingrich calls for Republican truce


A still from “Selling Access,” a recent ad released by the Ron Paul campaign.

Newt Gingrich is waving a white flag in the ad wars. As the most recent Republican frontrunner, he’s become the target of attacks from Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and the the pro-Romney group Restore Our Future.

Many of the attacks have focused on Gingrich’s consulting work for Freddie Mac in the run up to the financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market. Today his campaign announced a petition urging Republicans to stop attacking each other–and presumably to stop bringing up his work for Freddie.

New Romney video highlights old praise from Gingrich

Newt Gingrich Praises Mitt Romney in 2010

Mitt Romney’s campaign is out today with a new web video featuring a February 2010 speech by rival Newt Gingrich in which he praised Romney’s business acumen.

“Governor Romney in his business career created more jobs than the entire Obama cabinet combined, so he could actually talk about it,” said Gingrich in an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Romney’s camp liked the quote so much they actually run it twice in the ad, interspersed with graphics saying Romney “saved” the 2002 Winter Olympics and that he eliminated a $3 billion budget shortfall in Massachusetts.