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Did Mitt Romney really save the Olympics?

6:55 PM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- There's a new ad on the airways right now that gives credit to Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney for saving the Olympics and turning the games around in 2002.

Click here to watch the ad.

In the commercial, Kristi Yamaguchi, the figure skater who won a gold medal in the 1992 games and was an ambassador for the 2002 games says, "As an athlete, you're training your whole life for that one moment at the Olympics. Mitt Romney brought a huge sense of hope."

The ad singles out the 2002 games, which were a difficult time for the Olympics.

A narrator in the commercial says, "But America's Winter Olympics were mired in scandal and deficits. They turned to Mitt Romney.

Fraser Bullock says "He faced a $400 million budget deficit and turned that around to a hundred million dollar surplus."

John Libby of Jacksonville is the President of American Public Dialogue. He says make no mistake about it when it comes to what Mitt Romney did for the Olympics that year, he did a lot.

Libby says, "Everything looked like it was coming unhinged and Mitt Romney was asked to come in and help apparently because the Olympics were considered to have been successful there in Salt Lake City. I guess he did what was asked of him." 

Rod Sullivan is a professor for Florida Coastal School of Law. He says there could be other problems with the ad though.

Restore Our Future is responsible for the commercial not the Romney campaign. The pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA were asked to take down an ad featuring footage of the 2002 Olympics because the U.S. Olympics Committee says Olympic footage cannot be used in any political ad whether it's positive or negative.

Sullivan says, "Let's take the shot of the American flag on ice. If that was done at the Olympics, it is copyrighted by the U.S. Olympic Committee. If it was done at some other venue and purported to be an Olympic event, that doesn't violate anybody's copyright."

Restore Our Future is the main Super PAC supporting the Republican presidential candidate and so far it hasn't been asked to pull the ad. The creators of the ad may have been able to get around the ban by using photos of the 2002 games.

The commercial is airing in 11 battleground states, including Florida.

Tammie Fields, First Coast News

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