Posted: Jul 18, 2012 11:13 AM by CBS News
The Romney campaign is out with a new TV ad Wednesday charging President Obama with handing out political favors to campaign donors.
The ad shows images of money on fire with a narrator asking, "Where did all the Obama stimulus money go?" The same voice answers: "Friends, donors, campaign supporters, special interest groups."
The advertisement is an effort to drive home a line of attack the Romney campaign revived earlier this week criticizing the president for giving taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to green energy company Solyndra, which was partly funded by Obama campaign bundler George Kaiser. The company later filed for bankruptcy.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said earlier this week that "These are old, tired, haggard attacks," added Romney's "treading on thin ice here," and encouraged reporters to look into this issue during Romney's time as governor of Massachusetts.
Tuesday, Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA asked Romney just that, who admitted, when he was governor, "one individual," who was a campaign contributor, sought help from his administration.
"[W]e set up a very elaborate process to make sure neither I nor members of my staff were involved in the decision making. We wanted to make sure that by appearance and reality that this was done without bias and without favoritism," Romney said. (Watch interview in the video at left.)
The Romney campaign has not responded to a CBS News inquiry into who the individual was and what he or she received from the governor.
As for the Obama administration's loan guarantees to Solyndra as well as electric car company Fisker, which also received $500 million in loan guarantees, Romney said "this is a real concern."
"I don't know about any specific law which prevents a president from carrying out a conflict of interest of some kind or providing money to businesses owned by campaign contributors but it certainly stinks," ," Romney told KDKA. "It's the sort of thing that makes people very upset when they know that middle class families in America are struggling and when friends of the president are doing very well, thank you very much thanks to the gift of government."