You can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Ohioans are up in arms and outraged over Mitt Romney’s latest lies – this time, trying to fool the voters of Ohio into somehow thinking that Romney is more of a friend to the auto industry than Obama.
Ohio isn’t buying it. And Romney is being called on his deception in the strongest terms.
“The ad is cynical campaign politics at its worst,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “At this stage, we’re looking at Hubble telescope-length distances between campaign ads and reality…. we’ve clearly entered some parallel universe. We think creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back in this country should be a source of bipartisan pride.”
A Chrysler spokesman said Romney’s contortions on the issue ”would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.”
Talkingpoints Memo notes:
Mitt Romney’s new Jeep ad is such a fabrication that even a lot of reporters who are usually timid about calling candidates out for falsehoods are finally making a fuss.
The question is, how big a fuss will it be. The Romney camp has been openly telling reporters for months – off the record – that they don’t really care if reporters and pundits say their ads aren’t true.They’ll just make it up with bigger ad spends. At the moment, most reporters still seem uncomfortable reporting the scale of Romney’s dishonesty with his new ad.
But it’s not just reporters who are getting real – it’s full-on newspaper editorial boards. Here’s the Youngstown Vindicator, under the headline Romney’s GM and Chrysler ads are an insult to Ohioans:
Mitt Romney’s widely debunked claim that GM and Chrysler are moving auto manufacturing jobs to China after being bailed out by President Obama isn’t just dirty politics. The claim suggests that the Republican nominee for president believes the voters of Ohio are not sophisticated enough to separate fact from fiction.
…Romney first spun his fiction about Chrysler during a campaign stop in Defiance, Ohio: “I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state Jeep — now owned by the Italians — is thinking of moving all production to China.”
The story he referenced appeared in Bloomberg News. The story did not reflect what Romney had said.
So, how is the GOP presidential standard bearer responding to the widespread denunciation of his charge against the president? By refusing to withdraw the TV campaign commercial playing in Ohio, and even doubling down — with a radio spot that comes close to repeating the charge, and expanding it to include GM.
It does not seem to matter to Romney that every legitimate news organization that has reported on the story has reached the same conclusion: There is no truth to the claim…
And here’s the Toledo Blade:
… The Republican nominee is conducting an exercise in deception about auto-industry issues that is remarkable even by the standards of his campaign.
…Mr. Romney, who has changed positions on too many other issues to count, clings to his insistence that Mr. Obama should not have invested taxpayer money in helping Chrysler and GM emerge from a managed bankruptcy. He says he would have been willing to provide federal “guarantees” of private investment in the troubled automakers.
…Mr. Romney claims to have a “plan to help the auto industry,” which he does not detail. He plays up his Detroit roots, reminding voters that his father was not only a beloved governor of Michigan, but also the chief executive of a Detroit automaker.
But Mr. Romney’s own words make clear he is no friend of the auto industry, on which Ohio relies for one of every eight jobs. Voters in Ohio and Michigan — and the nation — need to remember that.
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The Obama campaign is hitting back hard, too, with this tough ad:
At The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn lays out the facts under the headline Chrysler, GM to Romney: Stop Lying:
- Let’s put aside the question of whether Romney, a former businessman dedicated to free trade, could possibly hold such beliefs. The historical record shows just how absurd this position is.
- To repeat what I said the other day, the auto industry was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs and on the verge of total collapse when Obama took office.
- President Bush had given Chrysler and GM a short-term loan, enough to get them through early 2009.
- Obama then approved a full rescue package, with government managing the bankruptcy and providing the funds to operate during that time.
- Since the summer of 2009, the industry has added 150,000 jobs—250,000 if you include related jobs in parts and sales.
- Overall, according to an estimate from the Center on Automotive Research, the rescue probably saved more than a million jobs.
So why is Romney doubling down? Because he’s losing. And he can’t win without Ohio, where he trails in most polls by as much as 5 points.
Here’s Cohn again:
Based on admittedly anecdotal evidence from my neighbors in Michigan, some of whom work for or with the auto industry, I suspect many Ohio voters are aware of this. They remember that Obama stood up for them when very few people would. They think Obama cares about them—and they think he has guts. The voters of Ohio are unlikely to say similar things about Romney, who has made multiple, conflicting statements about the rescue and, when necessary to please conservative voters, criticized Obama’s decision to offer government loans. Romney is trying to make voters forget that history. On Tuesday, we’ll find out if he succeeded.