Long-time readers may recall the “Mitt’s Mendacity” project from the 2012 campaign, documenting the more noteworthy falsehoods from the Republicans’ presidential nominee. I used to get asked from time to time if I had a particular favorite, and though the competition was fierce, Romney’s bogus Jeep claims always stood out as especially brazen.
It was late October 2012 when the Romney campaign, fearful of losing Ohio, suggested Chrysler was poised to move Jeep production from Ohio to China. It was a lie, but when confronted with the truth the candidate doubled and tripled down on the falsehood, even as auto industry executives called him out for deceiving the public.
The New York Times editorialized, “It’s bad enough to be wrong on the policy. It takes an especially dishonest candidate to simply turn up the volume on a lie and keep repeating it.” What’s more, the Toledo Blade chastised Romney for “conducting an exercise in deception about auto-industry issues that is remarkable even by the standards of his campaign.”
Whatever happened to that Jeep plant in Ohio? Josh Green offers a fascinating update.
It didn’t move to China. And it’s actually doing quite well. No, scratch that: It’s going gangbusters. Demand for Jeeps is so high that Chrysler workers are clocking 60 hours a week and still can’t keep up.
Wait, it gets better.
The Toledo Blade reports that the plant is doing so well that it’s hiring more American workers to keep up with demand.
Chrysler Group LLC plans to hire up to 1,000 part-time employees for the Toledo Assembly complex to keep production rolling while giving regular employees the chance for a break.“Our people have been working a tremendous amount of hours,” Plant Manager Chuck Padden said. “To get them more time off is important to us, to make sure they’re refreshed, and can work safely.”
As Green noted, the end of the article noted that some of the Cherokees built at the Ohio plant are “destined for international markets.”
In other words, in this case, we’re not sending jobs oversees; we’re sending products overseas.
Conservatives who predicted the failure of President Obama’s rescue of the auto industry were wrong, but Mitt Romney’s rhetoric about this plant in particular was extraordinarily wrong.