Let’s give Mitt Romney the benefit of the doubt and blame his campaign handlers for the moronic decision to double-down on what everyone knows is a flat-out lie about Jeep’s plans to build vehicles in China.
Greg Sargent has THIS to say about the matter:
[I]t’s worth taking a look at how the battle over Mitt Romney’s latest falsehood — that the auto bailout will result in American Jeep jobs getting shipped to China — is playing in the Ohio media, since this claim represents Romney’s last chance to turn things around in the state.
Here’s the headline in today’s Toledo Blade: “Clinton, Biden call Jeep ad deceptive.”
Another in the Toledo Blade: “Obama campaign accuses Romney of dishonesty on Jeep issue.”
The Blade has been covering this story pretty aggressively, noting that Romney — who now claims Obama followed his approach on the auto-bailout — previously derided the rescue effort as “crony capitalism.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, meanwhile, published a scorching editorial with this headline: “Flailing in Ohio, Romney rolls out Jeep ploy.”
This is hardly a comprehensive look at the local coverage, but it does suggest the possibility that Romney’s Jeep-to-China gamble may be backfiring. Polls have shown that large numbers of Ohioans don’t think Romney cares about their needs and problems. And the Obama campaign views the auto bailout, and Romney’s dishonesty about it, as central to their closing case against Romney’s character, integrity, and true priorities. So these are exactly the headlines the Obama team wants.
And then there’s THIS:
In the final days of the 2012 race, Mitt Romney’s campaign is really making good on its pollster’s August promise to ignore fact checkers. To close the deal in the Ohio, Team Romney is blitzing the state with a series of wildly deceptive statements and ads suggesting that Chrysler is moving local jobs to China…
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.
After Romney continued to suggest otherwise in ads, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne personally called him out for “inaccurate” claims.
Things have been getting dicy in the fact check department in general this week in Ohio. In addition to Romney’s repeated claim that he’d have saved the auto industry largely with private funds, a scenario experts say would have been impossible during the financial crisis, one of his top surrogates suggested on Monday that a Romney administration would have little effect on abortion laws. Romney supporter Norm Coleman told a Jewish group in the state on Monday that Roe v. Wade would never be reversed under Romney, despite Romney’s frequent criticism of the decision.
In a blast from the past, the Romney campaign is also reviving ads (unannounced, yet again) that feature a debunked claim that Obama “gutted” welfare work requirements. Romney’s original welfare attack in the summer was savaged in the press as inaccurate, prompting Romney’s pollster Neil Newhouse to respond that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.”