A pro-Obama super-PAC blamed “station error” after a controversial ad tying Mitt Romney to a woman’s death from cancer aired Wednesday in the key swing state of Ohio.

“Station error is all,” said Priorities USA Action chief Bill Burton, reported ABC News. “Kind of like when the Florida station accidentally aired Restore Our Future’s anti-Gingrich ad in June.”

Buzzfeed first reported that the ad aired on a Cleveland station early Wednesday morning.


Priorities USA unveiled the ad a week ago and said it would air in key swing states, but had declined to specify where or when. The ad has been viewed online over 770,000 times.

The ad, which has been sharply criticized by the Romney campaign, features a former steelworker, Joe Soptic, who said he lost his job and healthcare benefits after his company was bought and shuttered by Bain Capital, the private-equity firm formerly headed by Romney. Soptic suggests that his wife, who died of cancer, failed to seek adequate healthcare because she feared they could not afford treatment.

The Romney campaign has disputed the ad and independent fact checkers have said Soptic’s wife died six years after Bain purchased her husband’s plant and that she had health insurance through her own employer. Romney was also not in charge of Bain when her husband’s company was closed.

Romney’s camp has pushed back hard against the ad, launching its own television spot questioning President Obama’s character and pressing him to denounce the attack.  

On Monday the Romney campaign expanded its ad buy for the response commercial, which is airing in Iowa to coincide with Obama’s three-day visit there. 

"What does it say about a president’s character when his campaign tries to use the tragedy of a woman’s death for political gain?" a narrator asks in the Romney ad.

The Obama campaign, though, has declined to criticize the ad, dismissing suggestions it blames Romney for the death of Soptic’s wife. Obama advisers say it raises fair questions about Romney’s record at Bain and have hit back at Romney for an ad accusing Obama of undoing President Clinton-era welfare-for-work requirements.