Deep-pocketed super PACs largely fell flat in the 2012 campaign. But one particular ad released by the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA delivered a devastating blow to Mitt Romney’s campaign efforts in the battleground Rust Belt states, mainly Ohio, according to a new analysis from The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.
The ad was titled ‘Stage.’ It featured Mike Earnest, a member of the much sought-after “everyman” demographic, and chronicled how Mitt Romney and Bain Capital systematically dismantled the paper plant Earnest worked at in Marion, Ind.
Earnest recalls how he was told to build a stage for a company that later announced huge layoffs. “It was like building my own coffin,” he says in the ad.
Mayer explains in the latest issue of The New Yorker why this ad was so effective. “They did some internal studies on this ad that showed that in places where it showed, the trustworthiness of Romney was 11 points behind that of Obama. In places where it didn’t show, [Romney] was just five points behind,” Mayer told Hardball host Chris Matthews Monday night.
“It made people who watched it think he was profiting from laying people off and breaking promises to fund people’s pensions and their health care plans…It was a killer ad,” Mayer told Matthews.
TheGrio.com’s Joy Reid echoed that sentiment, adding Earnest played a “super anti-surrogate that was just a devastating anti-validator of Mitt Romney. Here was a guy that looked like the voter that Barack Obama needed to change sides.”
Reid noted Team Romney had no response to the devastating ad.
Even Sarah Palin acknowledged that the Bain Capital ads running so early on in the all-important Rust Belt states had a negative impact on Romney’s campaign.