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Sununu: Obama Camp 'Caught With Pants Down' on Cancer Ad

By    |   Thursday, 09 August 2012 09:17 PM EDT

The Obama campaign “got caught lying” and “with their pants down” in linking Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney to a television ad about a woman's death from cancer, leading Romney surrogate John Sununu told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

“This is a perfect sign of how desperate the president is to avoid talking about issues,” the former GOP New Hampshire governor and White House Chief of Staff said. “Actually, the new low was reached in denying that they knew anything about this ad — and then getting caught having had a discussion of exactly the same topic, with exactly the same individual that’s in the ad, in a telephone news conference with the press last May.”

The advertisement, sponsored by the pro-Obama group Priorities USA Action, suggests that Romney’s business dealings contributed to former steelworker Joe Soptic's wife's death from cancer by depriving her of health insurance.

Watch our exclusive interview. Story continues below.

The spot has drawn widespread criticism for its negativism — particularly since it was learned that Soptic got another job with health insurance, but decided not to put his wife on his policy to save money.

There are also unanswered questions as to how much the White House knew about the Soptic case as he had been used in a campaign conference call in May.

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“They got caught lying,” Sununu told Newsmax. “They got caught with their pants down. They got caught with a despicable ad. They got caught fulfilling the strategy they enunciated a year ago: That all they were going to do in this campaign is to try and destroy Mitt Romney.

“The public should begin to understand that there’s nothing that comes out of this campaign, or this Obama White House, that they can believe. It truly is all misrepresentation and deception.”

Sununu, a member of Romney’s campaign steering committee, said that despite attacks that the former Massachusetts governor should be more forceful in taking on the president, “the campaign has a pretty good balance on this.”

He cited Romney’s continued lambasting of the Priorities USA Action TV spot. “He has made it very, very clear that this is despicable and he’s called on them to pull the ad down,” Sununu said.

“There’s a good balance. You don’t want to get so distracted, focusing on what the opposition is putting forth that you forget to remind America that the real issue is 8.3 percent unemployment, virtually no growth at all in an economy that has been in shambles for the last four years under Obama.”

Likewise with the GOP challenger’s decision to remain out of the fray regarding Chick-fil-A and its president Dan Cathy’s comments supporting traditional marriage. Cathy's remarks have outraged gay-rights activists.

“I put it back in the category of not being distracted,” said Sununu, who served in the George H.W. Bush White House. “The governor is right to talk about the jobless rate, the lack of growth of jobs, the economy — and what his agenda is for getting things moving again.”

But Obama is even more vulnerable on foreign policy, Sununu said. He cited news reports that said Obama received a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on the Iranian nuclear program.

The update “shares Israel’s view that Iran has made surprising, significant progress toward military nuclear capability,” The Washington Post reports.

The White House had not commented on the document — a complete change from a notorious 2007 NIE report that had contended that Iran had dropped its nuclear weapons program, The Post reports.

As for the purported NIE update, Sununu said: “Look, we would have never gotten this enlightened report if the president wasn’t scared stiff about how terrible his handling of the Iran issue is being perceived by the public.

“He has really been weak. He has been talking about sanctions, but sanctions haven’t been causing any serious difficulties in Iran. He was beginning to see the handwriting on the wall at how terrible people perceived his foreign policy, particularly the Iran aspect of that foreign policy, and I’m afraid that — unfortunately — this NIE report is just a political response and his heart isn’t behind it.”

Sununu said he hoped that neither Iran nor Israel strikes each other. “I still think there are clever enough ways to disrupt this progress, that it might be able to be done with cyber attacks, rather than a physical attack.”

However, “if that turns out to not be the case,” Sununu expects Israel to act “sometime in the next six months.”

Even though Sununu is a Romney surrogate, he’s not privy, by choice, to who the candidate might select as his running mate.

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“I have worked very hard to know nothing about this, so I can be as irresponsible as I want without worrying that I am tipping somebody’s hand,” he said, laughing.

However, Sununu, does believe that any of the names currently being bandied about – former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Wisconsin Sen. Paul Ryan and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – would help the GOP ticket take the White House on Nov. 6. “They all bring positives,” he said.

Sununu also predicted that in this year’s election, New Hampshire, a key swing state that awarded its four electoral votes to President Obama in 2008, will go “red, by two and a half-to-three and a half points.”

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Thursday, 09 August 2012 09:17 PM
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