In the waning days of the 2012 campaign, the Romney campaign put out an ad in Ohio that made the charge that Chrysler would be building jeeps in China after being bailed out by the government. This caused a massive media backlash, with hyperventilating Democrats calling it a flat out lie. In fact, it was Politifact’s Lie of the Year:
It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.
And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.
People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.
Read the entire thing. This particular Politifact post sounds like Media Matters on steroids. But they were right about one thing – there was a flood of negative press coverage that rained down on the Romney campaign – an amazing phenomena we saw again and again throughout the campaign any time Romney made a claim that might draw blood.
Megyn Kelly had Stuart Varney on to talk about the controversy five days before the election. The only thing that was “obviously false” was the “fact checkers’” assertion that the Romney ad claimed Chrysler was “moving US production to China”.
As Varney noted in the video, nowhere in the ad did the Romney campaign claim that Chrysler was moving U.S, production to China. That was a massive strawman designed to confuse voters into thinking that Romney was lying about the Precious again. The ad simply stated that Chrysler was sold to Italians who were going to start building jeeps in China which is 100% correct.
Was it an ad I would have wasted time on, if I were running the campaign? No. But the geniuses in the Romney campaign wanted to play tit for tat on Obama’s terms.
Say it isn’t so…
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the automaker plans to build some Jeeps in China for the local market — and later, in Russia.
“As part of our global expansion of the Jeep brand, there are some cars — that because of the price position in the market — can never be made in the U.S. and exported,” Marchionne told reporters on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show. “We’re going to be announcing the first step in the globalization of Jeep (in China). There’s another one that’s going to come in Russia. These things are part of a natural process of expansion.”
Marchionne said he will keep “the pillar cars of the Jeep (brand) in the United States. Wrangler is one. The Grand Cherokee is another. These are things that need to be protected because they represent the best and the essence of Jeep. If you tell me I cannot make a Patriot somewhere else, I might as well go out of the market.”
And note that they’re not done using their strawman of the year.
Marchionne came under harsh criticism from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who falsely suggested that Chrysler would shift production from Ohio to China of the Jeep brand. The Romney ad on the issue was branded the “lie of the year” by fact checker “Politifact.”
“Falsely suggested”? Who’s making the “false suggestions? The ad said, and I quote: “Obama took Chrysler and GM into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to the Italians who are going to build jeeps in China.” Every word of the Romney ad, (Politifact’s “Lie of the Year”) is true.
Duane Lester sums up:
This is what happens when you get government in bed with corporations. They cover each others hind ends.