Mitt Romney’s found a new false attack on President Obama, claiming inaccurately that a Chrysler plant is moving U.S. jobs to China. Meanwhile, as Bain Capital gets set to actually ship jobs to China, the GOP presidential nominee is staying silent.
"I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep—now owned by the Italians — is thinking of moving all production to China," Romney told a crowd in Ohio. "I will fight for every good job in America. I'm going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if it's fair America will win."
Only problem with the charge? It’s not true. Romney appeared to be referring to a recent Bloomberg news story, which reported that Chrysler is mulling building Jeeps in China for the Chinese market. Gualberto Ranieri, a Chrysler spokesman confirmed to the Detroit News that the company has no plan to move U.S. jobs to China. "U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation,” he said.
Romney may have picked the story up from right-wing blogs, which appeared to misconstrue the Bloomberg report, with one calling the move a “slap in the face” for American taxpayers who bailed out Chrysler. To be fair, the Bloomberg story is confusing. It quotes a Chrysler spokesman saying the company is considering “localizing the entire Jeep portfolio,” before clarifying that he was referring only to adding production sites to China rather than shifting jobs from the U.S.
Meanwhile, Romney appears far less concerned about a batch of American jobs that actually do appear set to be shipped to China. As The Ed Show has been reporting, Bain Capital is set to close down the Sensata factory in Freeport, Illinois in favor of cheaper Chinese labor. Workers’ advocates have called on Romney to urge Bain to reconsider, so far without success.
Romney’s false Chrysler attack on Obama echoes one he made over the Benghazi attacks during the second presidential debate. Romney claimed Obama waited 14 days to call the attacks an act of terror, before being corrected by moderator Candy Crowley.
In both cases, Romney appears to have seized on what he saw as a way to score political points against Obama—this time by implicitly going after one of Obama’s greatest successes, his auto industry rescue—without making sure he got his facts right.