Fact checkers? Who needs ‘em? Or at least that’s the way the Romney campaign felt back in August. But a whopper of a claim in Romney’s newest TV and radio ads in the battleground state of Ohio—that Chrysler is planning to move Ohio’s Jeep manufacturing operations to China—is getting a whole lot more scrutiny than they probably expected…
What a seriously undignified thing for a Presidential candidate to get called out on for brazenly lying about, but it’s especially shameless when it’s the son of a legendarily principled auto executive who is the one doing the lying. As TPM’s Benjy Sarlin writes, Romney’s campaign is going off the fact checking rails:
The latest is an unannounced radio spot, audio of which was posted by Greg Sargent on Tuesday (Romney’s astonishingly dishonest Jeep-to-China radio ad). The spot asks whether Obama rescued the auto industry for “Ohio — or China?”
“Now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in — you guessed it — China,” the ad’s narrator says. “What happened to the promises made to autoworkers in Toledo and throughout Ohio — the same hard-working men and women who were told that Obama’s auto bailout would help them?”
The radio spot is a supercharged version of an earlier television ad, also unannounced, that drew unusually widespread condemnation in the local and national press for tying a planned expansion of Jeep operations in China to the fate of Jeep workers in Ohio. And that ad jumped off similar statements Romney made earlier while campaigning in Ohio.
Chrysler, Jeep’s parent company, has publicly condemned Romney’s claims as false, writing on its website that they have “no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China” and that any expansion in Asia is to serve Asian markets. In fact, they are adding over 1,000 jobs to their Toledo factory as part of a $500 million investment in upgrading its capacity.
Chrysler’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has personally swatted down Romney’s false claim, according to the LA Times:
“Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots. This will never change. So much so that we committed that the iconic Wrangler nameplate, currently produced in our Toledo, Ohio plant, will never see full production outside the United States. Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand.”
GM spokesman Greg Martin told the Detroit Free Press:
“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days, No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
Joe Biden brought it up—as did Bill Clinton—at a rally in Youngstown, calling the Romney claim “bizarre” and adding that he will “say anything, absolutely anything, to win.”
“This guy … pirouettes more than a ballerina. Ladies and gentlemen, have they no shame? … It’s an absolutely, patently false assertion.”
Romney left himself wide open on this one and now the fallout for Mittens is that Ohio voters are getting to understand what a fucking liar he is. The Obama campaign has already released an ad to counter Romney’s falsehoods. Not one of their better ones, but it doesn’t really take “clever” to bludgeon Romney on this matter. He’s given them plenty of rope with which to hang him. Romney’s getting hammered on this and it’s his own fault for being such a lying liar.
Who needs fact checkers when there is AN ENTIRE WORLD of fact checkers with access to this nutty newfangled thing called Google??? Mitt Romney. That’s who needs fact checkers!
Mitt Romney—The Candidate Who You Hope Is Lying (Slate)
All False statements involving Mitt Romney (Politifact)
Romney The Liar blog