That squib of a false story I wrote about Thursday claiming that Jeep was moving U.S. production to China grew a Hemi engine and raced off this weekend, after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney touted the story in a rally, then ran an ad in Ohio trumpeting the bogus claim. The backlash was strong enough for the Obama campaign to put out their own ad Monday calling it an outright lie. Tuesday, the chief executive of Chrysler even weighed in with his own rebuttal.
Before Romney even took the stage in Defiance, Ohio, to repeat the claim on Thursday night, Chrysler’s public relations chief had released a blistering reply calling it an “unnecessary fantasy.” That didn’t deter Romney’s team from running this ad over the weekend, telling reporters who called to ask how they could make such claims that it was technically true — although Romney has never produced a plan for helping the auto industry:
“Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China,” the narrator states. “Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.”
Even by the standards of our post-factual political culture, that’s a lot of bogus-ness for one sentence to carry. Romney’s taken credit for the idea that GM and Chrysler should have gone bankrupt, and said he would have done it sooner — although he’s never explained how that might have worked, exactly. The Italian automaker Fiat was the only buyer interested in Chrysler, after its previous private equity owners at Cerberus Capital couldn’t steer through the financial storm of 2008. And is building Jeeps in China worse than building Buicks, Chevys, Fords or any of the dozen of other Western car brands made in Chinese plants for Chinese buyers?
On Monday, the Obama campaign fired back, sensing a chance to attack Romney a week before the election in a state where most polls show the president with a slim, but shaky, lead:
And today, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne — the “Italians” mentioned by Romney — sent a company letter to employees rebutting the idea as well. Marchionne noted that Jeep’s factory workforce in the United States had grown from 4,700 in 2008 to 9,300. “I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne wrote.
Mitt “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney is a serial liar who is NOT trusted to lead this nation.