With Ohio presidential polls showing a dead heat, liberals have worked themselves up into a frenzy about a new Romney television ad:
Michael Tomasky piles on in The Daily Beast:
There’s basic dishonesty and then there’s f-you dishonesty–dishonesty so blatant, so consciously abusive of facts that everyone knows, that it deserves a category of its own. Kato Keilin: dishonesty. O.J.: f-you dishonesty.
Romney’s new ad about Jeeps and Italy is f-you dishonest.
During a campaign speech in Definance, Ohio, last Thursday, Romney did misstate Jeep’s plans, claiming Chrysler was considering moving “all” Jeep production to China:
“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 was apparently responding to a confusing statement by Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep brand early last week:
Fiat SpA (F), majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers’ operations in the region.
Fiat is in “very detailed conversations” with its Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (2238), about making Jeeps in the world’s largest auto market, said Mike Manley, chief operating officer of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia. Chrysler hasn’t built Jeeps there since before Fiat took control in 2009.
“The volume opportunity for us is very significant,” Manley, who is also president of the Jeep brand, said in an interview at Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, Michigan, headquarters. “We’re reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity” as well as “should we be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio.”
Chrysler subsequently clarified Manley’s comments:
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.
As the Detroit News notes, building cars in China is unremarkable:
Chrysler previously built Jeeps in China — and the move would not be unusual. Ford Motor Co. builds Ford vehicles in China for Chinese buyers and General Motors Co. builds Buicks in China for local consumers.
So what exactly does Romney’s ad — the one that has the Left in full-blown freak-out mode— say about all this?
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.
You can see the ad for yourself here.
The liberal journalists leading the charge insist this is terribly deceptive even as they acknowledge that every word of it is true. Here’s Kevin Drum of Mother Jones:
Technically, every word of this is true. Obama did force GM and Chrysler through a managed bankruptcy. Fiat did end up buying Chrysler. And Chrysler is thinking about building Jeeps in China. But remember my three-part test to judge how deceptive a statement is?
- What was the speaker trying to imply?
- What would it take to state things accurately?
- How much would accuracy damage the speaker’s point?
On this scale, Romney’s ad rates about 9 out of 10 on the deceptiveness scale. He’s obviously trying to imply that American jobs will be shipped overseas; stating things accurately would require wholesale revisions; and doing so would completely destroy Romney’s point. But he doesn’t care. He’s got an election to win, and if scaring Ohio autoworkers is what it takes, then that’s what it takes. It’s truly nauseating.
And here’s Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic:
Although the statements about Chrysler are true individually, together they imply that the Obama Administration’s action led to the outsourcing of American jobs. That is obviously false, both in the specific sense of what Chrysler is doing and in the more general sense of what the entire auto industry is doing. [Emphasis added.]
Got that? It’s “truly nauseating”and “obviously false” to tell the truth about Jeep’s plans to build plants in China because … because … Romney!
At least one mainstream media outlet has bought into the Left’s ridiculous narrative:
A National Journal article is running on Yahoo! News is headlined, “Romney Ad Wrongly Implies Chrysler is Sending U.S. Jobs to China.”
For months, the Left has criticized Romney for allegedly outsourcing jobs to China. Here’s an the Obama campaign ad that ran just four weeks ago:
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the Left suddenly sees no problem whatsoever with manufacturing in China.
Byron York of the Examiner patiently explains the Left’s hypocrisy: