Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Greg Sargent writes at The Plum Line today:
Last week, Mitt Romney told an Ohio rally that Chrysler was considering moving all its Jeep production to China — a false claim based on a faulty interpretation of a Bloomberg article that said no such thing. It was easy to assume the Romney camp had simply made a mistake (which would not necessarily have justified running with such an incendiary claim without checking the facts first).
Now, however, there is no longer any doubt about what’s happening: The Romney campaign is deliberately misleading people with the Jeep-to-China claim, in a last-ditch effort to turn things around in Ohio, which benefitted enormously from the auto bailout Romney opposed.
The Romney campaign is running a new ad that claims:
Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.
The Obama campaign is not taking Romney's "big lie" GOPropaganda on the auto rescue lying down. Team Obama is up with a new ad today that calls out Romney's ad for what it is: "a lie." (The Beltway media villagers are clutching their pearls -- you can't say "lie"). Calling Romney’s lie what it is: A lie:
The Obama campaign is up with a new ad in Ohio that hits back at Mitt Romney’s suggestion — made most recently in a Romney campaign ad — that Obama’s auto bailout will result in American Jeep jobs getting shipped to China. [The ad is entitled "Collapse" - video below the fold.]
The ad reprises Romney’s opposition to the auto-bailout — and flatly calls Romney’s Jeep-to-China claim a “lie.” The script:
When the auto industry faced collapse, Mitt Romney turned his back. Even the conservative Detroit News criticized Romney for his “wrong-headedness” on the bailout. And now, after Romney’s false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China, Chrysler itself has refuted Romney’s lie. The truth? Jeep is adding jobs in Ohio. Mitt Romney on Ohio jobs: Wrong then. Dishonest now.
* * *
Back when Ohio needed the auto industry bailed out — and Obama took the politically risky step of proceeding with the rescue — Romney took the politically easy position. Attacking it was a good way to pander to conservatives in advance of the GOP primary. But then, when this position became problematic for him in the general election, he began to dissemble about it, falsely suggesting he’d supported government action up front when that’s simply not what happened. With time running out, Romney has run out of answers on the auto-bailout, and has now turned to the claim that it will result in American Jeep jobs getting shipped to China. That isn’t true either.
But this goes beyond a standard fact checking skirmish. Obama advisers see it as central to their closing argument against Romney's character. It isn’t just that Romney failed to support the auto-bailout when Ohioans really needed it; it’s that Romney doesn’t have the integrity to come clean about it now that he’s asking them for their help furthering his political ambitions. That’s why the ad combines the claim that Romney “turned his back” on the industry with the assertion that Romney is being “dishonest” about it “now.”
UPDATE: Norm Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute: “I think there’s nobody like Romney. Romney is like the Michael Phelps of presidential candidates. if you’re looking for gold medals in terms of audacious lying, and adamant refusal to turn over personal information, nobody comes close. I’m sure others would’ve liked to have done it, but the culture in the past was one where lying attracted some level of approbation and shame.”
UPDATE: The Washington Post's fact checker Glenn Kessler gives the Romney ad Four Pinnochios for Mitt Romney’s misleading ad on Chrysler and China. Politifact also weighs in: “Pants on fire.”
The Columbus-Dispatch extensively fact-checked Romney’s claims about the auto-bailout, and clearly demonstrates that Romney did in fact oppose the rescue of the industry Obama ended up pursuing.