Biden accuses Romney camp of 'outrageous lie'
October 31st, 2012
04:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Biden accuses Romney camp of 'outrageous lie'

Sarasota, Florida (CNN) – On a day that saw the return to presidential campaigning – with positive, more subdued messages amid Superstorm Sandy's aftermath – Vice President Joe Biden stood out for intensity: charging harder than usual against his Republican opponents after a widely criticized and disputed claim from the Romney campaign.

During a campaign event in Sarasota, Florida, Biden raged against a fresh Romney ad, accusing the GOP nominee of "desperation in the last hours of this campaign," "trying to scare the living devil" out of voters, and of pushing "an outrageous lie."

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At issue: an assertion from Team Romney that's sparked so much controversy in the closing days of the election that a chorus of newspapers and generally politically-shy car executives have weighed in.

The claim from first a TV ad and then one on radio: that President Obama's actions in the auto bailout caused carmaker Jeep to move the manufacture of Jeeps to China costing domestic jobs. And that GM is also building new vehicles in China as well, also at the expense of American jobs. Over the past few days, Chrysler executives have rolled out multiple statements essentially labeling it false as have GM executives.

Biden, along with former president Bill Clinton, hit back against the claim during a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday.

But not with the gusto he did at Wednesday's event, thundering at length.

"They are running the most scurrilous ad in Ohio.… one of the most flagrantly dishonest ads I can ever remember in my political career," Biden said.

"It's an outrageous lie. A lie, a lie that is so deceptive and so patently untrue that the Chrysler corporation, including the chairman of the board of Chrysler, they actually spoke up."

"They don't want to get involved in presidential politics but they spoke up they said quote-I'm going to quote, 'a leap that will be difficult even for professional circus acrobats,'" Biden added.

"Why would they do this?" Biden said of the Romney campaign. "Why would they do this in the face of the overwhelming facts contradicting them?"

He then attempted to answer his own question.

"I'll tell you why I think they're doing it. They're trying to scare the living devil out of a group of people who have been hurt so badly over the last, because of the previous four years we came to office."

And in a twist, Biden essentially said the scare tactics are working with Ohio autoworkers.

"These are auto workers waking up, waking up in their communities, just a couple of days ago to see this ad and guess what: they were calling, thousands of them were calling their UAW [United Auto Worker] reps, 'Is it true? Is it true? Is Jeep really going to leave? Is the announcement they made true? Are they going to shut down our plant?'" Biden said.

"What a cynical, cynical thing to do."

"To go out and try to scare these people for electoral reasons at the end, to say something that's so untrue," Biden added. "Look, Jeep is doing fine. Jeep is going to do even better. They're going to grow and like I said Jeep isn't cutting jobs they're adding jobs."

The Romney campaign was asked to respond to the vice president's statement that the ad is an "outrageous lie."

"We've got an ad out that we believe makes the case for why Gov. Romney would be stronger for the auto industry and why the auto industry's an important part of a strong economy," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden told reporters traveling with the campaign.

"They've got an ad that they're using to make their case to the public, and we'll leave that with voters."

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan commented in a separate statement distributed to reporters.

"American taxpayers are on track to lose $25 billion as a result of President Obama's handling of the auto bailout, and GM and Chrysler are expanding their production overseas," Ryan said. "These are facts that voters deserve to know as they listen to the claims President Obama and his campaign are making. President Obama has chosen not to run on the facts of his record, but he can't run from them."

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan challenged Biden's assertions about the bailout by referring to it as an "unqualified success story."

"President Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, taxpayers still stand to lose $25 billion dollars in the president's politically managed bankruptcy. These companies, Chrysler in particular we know this story, are now choosing to expand manufacturing overseas. These are the facts. Those facts are inconvenient for the president but no one disputes them," the Wisconsin lawmaker said at a rally in his congressional district.

Ryan said 610,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since Obama came into office, and in the last two months, 10,000 lost jobs came from the auto sector. He pointed to employees of shuttered auto plants in his home state and Ohio who faced significant cuts to their pensions when government intervened in 2009.

The auto bailout looms large in Ohio. Many voters there either work for the industry or otherwise have ties to it. Many have cited Romney's opposition to the bailout – and his now famous 2008 op-ed titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" – as a possible reason he's frequently trailed President Obama in Ohio polls, although recently by small margins.

- CNN Political Producer Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Vice President Biden
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Stop The Bully

    I was bullied when I was in elementary school.

    Romney assaulted and bullied a classmate in private school. I would NEVER, EVER vote Romney.

    October 31, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  2. LocalVokal

    Liars. Fear has been used repeatedly during this campaign to scare the weak minded. They have movies, books, and don't get me started on the talk radio shows (funny how everybody that calls in has the same...."accent"). Romney could tell these people that he's gonna defeat China and Godzilla on day one, and they'd believe that too. You have your die hards on both sides, but lets reverse the roles for a second....If Obama changed his position to suit his audience at every gathering, what would you think of him? Why is it different for Romney? If Obama had gone from being a MODERATE to become governor, then became SEVERELY CONSERVATIVE to get the presidential nomination, then tried to go back to being MODERATE to win the election, what would you think of him? Why is it different for Romney? If Obama was caught on film saying that 47% of Americans are lazy and irresponsible, what would you think of him? Why is this different for Romney? If Obama's campaign speeches only consisted of the line, "He didn't, I wil.", would that be enough for you to vote for him? If Obama claimed to know what it took to get the country going again because he ran a business and created jobs, but REFUSED to talk about his business or the jobs he created, would that be ok? If Obama refused to show "you people" his tax returns because you wouldn't vote for him if you saw them, would that be ok? Why is it ok for Romney? I could go on but I'd really like someone to answer these questions. Thanx.

    October 31, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Lulu

    There’s one clear choice – vote for Obama. You have to remember that the situation in the U.S. is mainly the result of 8 years mismanagement by the previous administration. Be real and admit that it will take many years to recover the economy. So far Obama has done a lot of good for the people. You can already see a lot of progress but there’s a lot more to fix. No president could have done it any better. Obama pushed ahead with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act even if it looked like it will lose him votes. The outcome of this will not be seen for years. But I bet you when it does, many people will remember him for passing this bill, even the people who will not vote for him. Obama is a people person. He is hard working, true and honest. It will be sad to see anyone voting otherwise and take the credit for the fruits of Obama’s labor.
    President Obama has shown leadership and his focus is what is best for his people.

    October 31, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Maxx

    Keep saying it Mitt, just more embarrassment for you after you lose. So dishonest.

    October 31, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |

    @Brad – Look up habitual liar and you'll see the only definition is "POLITICIAN". None of them tell the truth they only say what they need to in order to get elected. Romney/Ryan or Obama/Biden. Again, all politicians are liars and the way you tell is if their mouth is moving. You just have to vote your conscience and cross your fingers.

    October 31, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Arun

    This idiot, Mitt, makes W. look like the best prez we ever had and we know how W's 4 years helped the country!! It didn't!!

    October 31, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Arun

    I really hope the 47% wake up and see who really is on their side. Take a look at all the repube debates and see how the Mitt has flip flopped on every major issue facing this country. Do you really want this idiot to have the access to hit the button when he has the neocons in his ear!!!

    October 31, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Sorensen

    Surprise! Romney lies all the time. And he only realizes it half of the time.

    October 31, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Dumb Lefty

    Biden is a complete moron and everybody knows it. I doubt his words sway anyone except for the hard lefties.

    October 31, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  10. Phil

    Biden, You and Obama are the Author of Lies. You are a career opportunist that was just quoted recently campaigning for your 2016 bid. You are the biggest flip flop of them all. You abandoned all of your policies and Ideas to get into bed w/ Obama knowing that was your only way to the whitehouse after multiple failed attempts to run for president yourself. you have no class & you will do or say anything to get into office. Which for that reason alone makes you a perfect match w/ Obama and the worst Administration ever for this great Country.

    October 31, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Dave

    People will say anything to win an election. That's why I don't waste my time listening to the political hype from either party.

    October 31, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Four and The Door

    Auto workers and a vast majority of other Americans trying to earn a decent living will be in a much better position to accomplish that when Mitt Romney is elected. The economic problems Obama has not been able to address are the problem. The answer is not to continue doing things that are proven not to work. The answer is clear. Romney/ Ryan 2012.

    October 31, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. LocalVokal

    Romney and his camp are running on the belief that over half of America is stupid and has a very short memory. How else would you explain NOT ONE PUBLIC APPEARANCE BY GW in the past year. Why wasn't he allowed to campaign with Bush Sr. and Cheaney? Half are too stubborn to admit that they ARE the 47% he was talking about. They are so blinded by hate and fear that they can't see straight. DO NOT VOTE OUT OF FEAR!! RESEARCH!! MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS!! You don't have to vote for who your boss tells you to, as much as they try to "inform" aka "frighten" their empoyees these days. I can give them credit for one thing....they have no shame at all. They tell you up front that they're going to screw you, how they're going to screw you, and make you pay for the room.

    October 31, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Ah...I See.

    Four and The Door

    Ryan said. "These are facts that voters deserve to know as they listen to the claims President Obama and his campaign are making. President Obama has chosen not to run on the facts of his record, but he can't run from them."
    The fact that GM is ramping up Research, Development and Production in China has been out there for more than a year.
    Our $25 billion treasury investment in GM is one of the best things that has happened for the Chinese middle class workers in years. So now Jeep is following step? No huge surprise. In fact, they have been making Jeeps in Beijing for decades. I myself visited Beijing Jeep factory in 1996. It was a reasonably large operation then. Look it up.


    So, the fact that the company CEOs are debunking the ad means nothing to you? You could even follow the link to their statement and, gee wilickers, find out more about the plant you visited, the plants in the US, and how all this ties together. But this would require you to RRRRRRRRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!

    October 31, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. rs

    DC Observer-
    You're funny! The GOP en masse vowed to make "Obama a one term President", and have negotiated in bad faith, filibustered laws, and pretty much lied their pants off for 4 years.

    October 31, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Harry

    For someone intending to be the next President, it is frightful and utter disrespectful and insulting to the public that Romney would base his campaign on sheer mendacity. Does he not understand that executives and Presidents have to make decisions based on FACTS. Obviously Romney does not understand this and therefore is clearly not qualified to be a President. How can the public trust trust such a person to be a leader is beyond reason. Furthermore, Romney keeps shifting his position by the minute – what will his position be when he gets in the White House? Think carefully before you decide to vote for him – your vote will be like giving him a blank check. Do you want to do that?

    October 31, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. rs

    Four and The Door-
    You are a pathetic researcher! Jeep ISN'T MOVING TO CHINA. Both the cchairman of Chrysler and Fiat have said so. The nuance that eluded GOPpers is this- Chrysler's plant in China has been closed tho these many years. They are thinking of opening it to build products for the China/SE Asian market WHILE they add 3,000 jobs in 3 factories in different states. NO jobs are going to China.

    Face it- once again Willard "Mitt the Lyin' King" Romney got caught in another lie.

    October 31, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Marty, FL

    Pants-on-fire Romney immorally lies and refuses to correct his dishonesty even after Chrysler pointed Romney's lie.
    Shameful and not presidential.

    October 31, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. rs

    Four and The Door-
    Sure, the GOP stands against unions, retirement benefits, health benefits, and even the minimum wage. Why in God's name would any blue collar worker vote for them?

    October 31, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  20. C Anderson

    Those lying creeps. ( Romney & Ryan ) will lose.

    October 31, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Christian

    Obama is not perfect, but given the mess he was left with, who could be. Mitt Romney is a liar, a flip flopper and only cares abut the ULTRA rich. The deficit will grow bigger under his war spending and tax cuts. And it Won't trickle-down to the middle class, as he claims

    October 31, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  22. Margaret L. Krueger

    I voted for Obama once and never again! He has lied both in DC and Illinois and Biden is a proven Plagerist (check the records – when he ran for President). I believe nothing he says!

    October 31, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. rs

    Margaret L. Krueger
    You must be having fun swallowing Romney's tripe if you think Obama lies.

    October 31, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Bob

    Four and the Door-

    The good thing is you will be able to keep your name after November 7th, 2012!

    October 31, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    Four and The Door-
    Sure, the GOP stands against unions, retirement benefits, health benefits, and even the minimum wage. Why in God's name would any blue collar worker vote for them?
    Apparently you buy the full tub of Obama/ Biden 2012 baloney. Even after the middle class has been pummeled like it has during Obama's 4 years, you suck it up and what? Ask for more? Look a little deeper than your Democratic mail and you will see that all working people will do better under a Romney Administration. More take-home pay. More higher paying jobs. Better health benefits ( from the guy who invented universal health care in the US ). And better retirement. All of the above take a hit when Obama is in Washington. Look at his results. Not very good, huh?

    October 31, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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