In this ad – Mitt Romney plays the role of automobile champion. He says he would do more for the auto industry, has a plan for the auto industry, Obama took GM & Chrysler into bankruptcy and then not so subtly tries to leave the viewer with the impression that Chrysler is moving to China. Somehow the guy who wrote “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” and has openly denounced putting tariffs on Chinese products that have advantages due to unfair trade practices is now Mr. America; not only that – this ad continues with the lie that Chrysler is shipping off American jobs to China to build all Jeep models now.
Romney knows he’s screwed. The election is in 9 days and there is no singular event that he can use to pivot. He knows that he’s going to lose Ohio and he has to shake things up. So – let’s look at his ad.
The ad says: “Fact checkers confirm his attacks on Mitt Romney are false.”
The Politifact article that he’s referring to gives Obama a “mostly false” rating for saying Romney ”would not provide government assistance to the U.S. auto companies, even if they went through bankruptcy.” You can read that HERE.
Well – I’m not a happy camper that Politifact rated it this way but they rated it strictly off the wording. Romney famously wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”; you can read it in full HERE; an excerpt:
IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.
He then goes on to explain how American workers at GM and Chrysler make too much in the way of salaries, pensions and benefits and that sums it up with a nice bow when he said, “But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.” Very clearly – he said if American union workers don’t get restructured the car companies will not make it.
He then says this:
It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition. I believe the federal government should invest substantially more in basic research — on new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like — that will ultimately benefit the automotive industry, along with many others.
So – his focus on government assistance is for THE FUTURE.
And then he said:
The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.
He says after going into bankruptcy – customers should receive guarantees on their warranties. That’s it. The problem is that GM and Chrysler couldn’t get financing … and they wouldn’t be able to afford Chapter 7 – they would have imploded. They couldn’t afford to keep the lights on. They even went to Bain Capital for financing and Bain Capital turned them down. The NY Times writes HERE:
In fact, the task force asked Bain Capital, the private equity company that Mr. Romney helped found, if it was interested in investing in General Motors’ European operations, according to one person with direct knowledge of the discussions.
Bain declined, this person said, speaking anonymously to discuss private negotiations.
So – history proved Romney wrong … and he has been trying to conflate facts ever since. For example – in this great interview with George Stephanopoulos – he gets called out for his bullshit. Romney says very clearly in this video and he has said it before that GM and Chrysler went through bankruptcy and then Obama provided “support afterwards”. That’s not true. He wrote his famous letter in November of 2008; Bush gave the first round of bailouts to GM and Chrysler in December of 2008 to the tune of $17.4 billion (source). Had Bush not done that – the car companies would have liquidated before Obama even took office. And the net-net of it … he says what Obama did was wrong. American auto workers would tend to disagree. Watch the exchange:
And Romney says he’d be better for the car industry … well let’s look at how GM is doing under Obama courtesy of Northwestern University HERE:
Then after the GM and Chrysler success story became too big to deny … Romney simply took credit for the success. Remember – he criticized the Obama administration’s actions and now he’s taking credit for them. He actually said this HERE:
“I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy. And finally, when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. So I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back.”
And Romney certainly wasn’t for protecting American workers who manufacture tires “Made in the USA” when he told a group of people whom he referred to as “sophisticated people” that to put tariffs on Chinese tires would be a “defeating strategy and will yield ultimate decline and collapse”. Obama won that case at the World Trade Organization; China lost. Romney’s solution for the American tire industry was that American workers needed to be more productive which means they need to be paid more in line with the competition.
We shared this HERE; watch him say it yourself:
“And I understand that and they — and the corporations, it’s not just the unions by the way, it’s the corporate executives and the shareholders and all the wealth owners, capitalists behind the tire industry – are saying don’t let those foreign tires in here, it’s gonna hurt me. And it will — as those tires come in it does hurt them directly, and therefore what their response is, their immediate response is, don’t let them in. But if that’s what their response is, my experience is over time, they will lose out slowly but surely.”
“So putting barriers up, trying to put walls up, in my opinion is a defeating strategy and will yield ultimate decline and collapse. The alternative strategy, by the way, as you know is, to say, OK, those guys have figured out a way to make tires in a more productive way than we have, and we’re going to have to find another way to compete.”
Lastly – Romney’s ad implies that Chrysler is moving all of it’s Jeep manufacturing to China. He made this claim the other day and has been sharply rebuffed by Chrysler and fact checkers. The Romney campaign has failed to issue a statement acknowledging Romney’s false claims and they seemed to double up again in this ad. They did this intentionally but not brazenly … likely due to the recent backlash associated with their lies. As we wrote about this false claim from Romney HERE:
Detroit News has the story HERE:
Romney was apparently responding to reports Thursday on right-leaning blogs that misinterpreted a recent Bloomberg News story earlier this week that said Chrysler, owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA, is thinking of building Jeeps in China for sale in the Chinese market.
The Bloomberg story, though accurate, “has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. work force. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats,” Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri said.
“Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation.”
The Bloomberg story, however, sparked the confusion in the first paragraph of the story, saying Chrysler planned to return Jeep output to China “and may eventually make all of its models in that country.”
Like us on Facebook?