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Obama Camp Still on Defense Regarding Priorities USA Ad

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
David Axelrod, a top campaign adviser to President Barack Obama, tried to distance the campaign from a controversial super PAC ad.

Neither Axelrod nor Wasserman Schultz conceded that Obama should comment, however. While Axelrod rebuffed the claim that the spot directly connects the woman's death to Romney, he defended the core idea that the former Bain Capital executive's approach to business belies a character flaw he would take into office if elected.

"What is true is that Gov. Romney and his partners loaded that company with debt, walked away with millions of dollars and left the workers there bereft without the health care they were promised, without the pensions and other benefits they were promised," Axelrod said.

"There is no question that the ad raises facts, such as when Romney was the CEO of Bain Capital ... he laid off workers and made millions of dollars in profits," Wasserman Schultz said. "The bottom line is ... [he] profited from bankrupting companies."

Wasserman Schultz also said there was a double standard to implying that there should be "indignation" over the Priorities USA ad when pro-Romney or Romney campaign-sponsored ads have made insidious insinuations about Obama.

"They have inferred that Barack Obama isn't even American, have questioned whether his birth certificate is legitimate," she said. "Where is the same indignation [and] Fox condemning those ads?"

Correction: Aug. 12, 2012

An earlier version of this story misstated the title of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.). She is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.

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