New Spot: Romney "Helped Save My Daughter"
By Michael D. Shear
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will today begin airing a new ad in New Hampshire that will take the place of his attacks against rival Mike Huckabee as voters celebrate Christmas next week.
The ad tells the story of the daughter of Romney's business partner, who disappeared for three days in New York City in 1996.
"My business partner stepped forward to take charge. He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York," Robert Gay says in the ad. "He set up a command center and searched through the
night. The man who helped save my daughter was Mitt Romney."
Aides to Romney said the ad will fully take over the New Hampshire airwaves by Saturday, by which point the current ad, which attacks Huckabee for granting 1,033 paroles and pardons, will take a hiatus.
"By Saturday, the negative ad will rotate out," said Stuart Stevens, one of Romney's media advisers.
Stevens said the new ad is a positive message that should work well during the holiday season, an issue that is forcing all of the campaigns to modify their messages in the last two weeks of the campaign.
"Every instinct is the same. To do something moving. No one wants to be out of sync with the season," Stevens said. "We always had a story we wanted to tell. It was a question of when to tell it."
Gay's daughter, Melissa, disappeared after attending a party. News reports at the time said Romney temporarily shut down Bain Capital, the firm he founded, and moved most of the employees to New York for several days to help search for the teenage girl.
She was found alive after Romney helped generate publicity surrounding the disappearance.
In the ad, Gay says, "Mitt's done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible. But for me, the most important thing he's ever done is to help save my daughter."
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