In a new television ad now playing in Wisconsin, Crossroads GPS spotlights a couple whose cancer-stricken son Mitt Romney befriended in 1979.
The ad, titled “Mitt and David,” hits a personal “he cares” theme that another pro-Romney outside group, Restore Our Future, also employs this election season.
Restore’s “Saved” ad told the story of Romney shutting down Bain Capital LLC for a day to help an employee search for his missing daughter in New York. The group’s new spot features an Iraq war veteran recalling how Romney visited him in the hospital and “cares deeply about people who are struggling.”
Crossroads is now getting personal, too.
In the new 60-second ad, David Oparowski’s mother, Pat, tells viewers that Romney “cares about people and about their needs” as she tells the story of the friendship in her son’s final days. When David died, Romney gave the eulogy, she says.
Pat and Ted Oparowski have made several cameos on behalf of the Republican presidential nominee. The couple, fellow Mormons, met the Romney family in the 1970s while they were living in Massachusetts. Romney has mentioned them on the campaign trail, and they spoke on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
This appears to be their first commercial.
Throughout most of the spot, the parents are seated in a living room decorated with family photos and flowers. Pat Oparowski does most of the talking.
“He and David developed quite a friendship,” she says of Romney. “David asked Mitt if he would help him write a will, and together they did.”
Her voice catching, she says her son wore his Boy Scout’s uniform at his funeral and that Romney delivered a “beautiful” eulogy.
“To spend time with a 14-year-old boy in his last days, that — you cannot help but know that he’s caring,” Pat Oparowski says. “He cares about people and about their needs.”
An image of Romney locking eyes with a boy on the campaign trail appears onscreen.
“I think he’s going to be able to get us back on track,” Pat Oparowski says. “I really do.”
Crossroads GPS has been a major player in the presidential TV ad wars, while also weighing in on competitive House and Senate races. The group has spent at least $42 million on TV ads, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that analyzes political spending.
Unlike its companion super-PAC, American Crossroads, Crossroads GPS is organized as a nonprofit and does not disclose its donors. It also isn’t required to report all of its political spending to the Federal Election Commission. Both groups are guided by former George W. Bush political strategist Karl Rove.
“Mitt and David” is Crossroad GPS’s first new presidential network TV ad since Sept. 14, according to data from Kantar Media’s CMAG. The New York company tracks political ads.
– Greg Giroux contributed to this post.