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'King of Bain': 6 questions answered about anti-Mitt Romney attack ads

A pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC will begin its controversial 'King of Bain' ad campaign attacking Mitt Romney Thursday. Here's a Q&A to explain what the controversy is about.

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Answer: The filmmaker behind it is Jason Killian Meath, who created ads for Romney’s failed run in 2008. He is a former associate of Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, top Romney strategists, according to The Daily Beast. Mr. Meath did not return a call requesting clarification about why he made the anti-Romney film.

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Question: How did the super PAC obtain the film?

Answer: According to Phillips, Meath’s associates reached out to Winning the Future this past week, offering the film for sale. After negotiations, “we bought the film on Thursday for an undisclosed sum," he says.

He denies reports that money from Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson was used to buy the film and would not discuss any donations to the super PAC by Mr. Adelson. However, according to Factcheck.org, IRS documents show that Adelson donated $7 million to a now defunct Gingrich super PAC called American Solutions for Winning the Future.

Media have widely reported that Adleson has donated $5 million to the current super PAC, making the $3.4 million ad buy in South Carolina possible.

Question: What does Romney say about the film? 

Answer: Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, said Saturday: “It’s puzzling to see Speaker Gingrich and his supporters continue their attacks on free enterprise. This is the type of criticism we've come to expect from President Obama and his left-wing allies at MoveOn.org. Unlike President Obama and Speaker Gingrich, Mitt Romney spent his career in business and knows what it will take to turn around our nation’s bad economy.”

Question: What are other Republicans saying?

Answer: Republican strategist David Johnson, who worked on Sen. Robert Dole’s 1988 presidential campaign, said this film could backfire for the Republican Party, while not helping Mr. Gingrich in his South Carolina bid.

“All this does is hand fodder to the Democrats for attacking Romney in the general election, and it reinforces the image of Gingrich as mean and too personal in his attacks on fellow Republicans,” he says.

Election 101: Nine things to know about Mitt Romney

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