Obama ad hits Romney for ‘lie’ on auto bailout

October 30, 2012
Obama ad hits Romney for ‘lie’ on auto bailout
By DAVID SHEPARDSON / Detroit News Washington Bureau
Washington — The Obama campaign on Monday unveiled a new TV spot calling Mitt Romney’s latest ad on the auto bailout “a lie” and “dishonest” in rebutting the GOP candidate’s contention Chrysler plans to build Jeep vehicles in China.

“When the auto industry faced collapse, Mitt Romney turned his back,” the new 30-second ad says. “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 and Ohio jobs: wrong then, dishonest now.”

The Obama auto ad uses some of the harshest rhetoric of the campaign as the fight for the presidency may come down to winning over blue-collar voters in the final week. It cites The Detroit News’ editorial page criticism of Romney “wrong-headedness on the auto bailout”— though it failed to mention the paper endorsed Romney for president.

“Have they no shame? Romney will say anything, absolutely anything, to win,” Vice President Joe Biden said, who with former President Bill Clinton denounced the Jeep comments, adding it is “absolutely, patently false. … This guy pirouettes more than a ballerina.”

Romney has repeatedly denied his opposition to the $85 billion auto bailout meant he was in favor of letting the U.S. auto industry collapse and has said he would have provided government support but only after automakers filed for bankruptcy.

Romney’s new 30-second ad is technically accurate, since it is referring to Chrysler considering production of the Jeep in China for Chinese buyers. But many critics have said it is meant to mislead voters. “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 ad says.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina noted Chrysler debunked it would shift production from the United States to China. He says the ad “falsely suggests” U.S. production would be shifted.

Romney’s new auto ad opens with a question and features a woman driving on the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. “Who will do more for the auto industry? Not Barack Obama,” the narrator says. “The truth? Mitt Romney has a plan to help the auto industry.” The ad also notes Romney “is supported by Lee Iacocca and The Detroit News.”

The ad cited the endorsement of the former Chrysler CEO and referenced The News editorial page endorsement.

dshepardson@detnews.com

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