The controversial 2007 video in which President Barack Obama claimed the federal government discriminated against New Orleans after Katrina is unlikely to be brought up by Mitt Romney, a spokesman for the campaign said.
“I don’t expect that at all,” said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden when asked whether Romney would address the controversial video on the ABC News/Yahoo! News live streaming debate preview show on Wednesday. “I think that what’s more important in this debate and where the governor has planned to focus his efforts during his debate is on the president’s record.”
Video of a 2007 speech Obama delivered at Hampton University in Virginia reemerged on Tuesday after conservative website The Daily Caller published previously unreleased portions of the speech on their website. Fox News also aired parts of the video on Sean Hannity’s show on Tuesday night.
Though the 2007 event was covered by reporters at the time and during the 2008 election, The Daily Caller highlighted portions of the speech where Obama appeared to suggest that the federal government did provide the same level of financial support for Katrina victims as they did for victims of 9/11 or Hurricane Andrew.
Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt countered that the video is old news and an attempt to distract from the economic conversation.
“This is a transparent attempt to change the conversation from Governor Romney’s remarks that 47 percent don’t take full responsibly for their lives,” LaBolt said. “Even Governor Romney called the response to Katrina an embarrassment.”
LaBolt added that the video is a continuation of a “playbook” for the campaign that was revealed when failed plans for a super PAC ad featuring Obama’s former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright were published in the New York Times.
“We’re confident that when people see the full context of the remarks and the speech itself they’ll see this for what it is,” LaBolt said.