Auto companies hit back against Romney ads
October 30th, 2012
10:24 PM ET
10 years ago

Auto companies hit back against Romney ads

(CNN) - Democrats on Tuesday ramped up their pressure on the Romney campaign over two new ads on the auto bailout, as each side sought to sway voters in the crucial battleground state of Ohio.

Spokespeople for Obama's re-election effort pointed to quotes from General Motors and Chrysler executives blasting Mitt Romney over a new round of ads that accuse the auto giants of shifting jobs overseas.

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"The ad is cynical campaign politics at its worst," General Motors spokesman Greg Martin told The New York Times. "We think creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back in this country should be a source of bipartisan pride."

The Romney radio ad, which aired in Ohio Tuesday, claims GM plans to double the number of cars built in China and that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in the same country.

"Mitt Romney: He'll stand up for the auto industry in Ohio, not China," the ad's narrator concludes.

The ad follows a television spot released over the weekend, which makes the same argument and faced wide criticism in recent days for its accuracy.

"Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China," the television spot's narrator says.

Romney originally floated that idea at a rally in Defiance, Ohio last week. He quoted a report about the majority owner of Chrysler, Fiat, saying it was considering producing its signature Jeep in China.

However, the Bloomberg report to which Romney was apparently referring said that the potential move would only affect cars produced for Chinese consumers.

Chrysler Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Gualberto Ranieri emphatically denied the possibility U.S. production would be affected, writing in an online posting, "Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China."

The ad was rated "Pants on Fire" by the independent, fact-checking group And former President Bill Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden on Monday tag teamed in their attacks against Romney over the ad.

The Romney campaign did not highlight their television ad–or Tuesday's radio ad–with a press release to reporters, as they have with nearly every other spot, but CNN's ad tracker Kantar Media CMAG, spotted the ad running on broadcast television stations in Toledo and Youngstown, Ohio – two Ohio manufacturing strongholds.

Martin, the GM representative, said Romney's ads show that the candidate is "bereft of any fundamental understanding of the global automotive industry.

"All global manufacturers, whether General Motors, Ford, Chrysler or VW, build historically in the markets in which we sell," he continued.

Romney's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

- CNN's Rachel Streitfel, Gregory Wallace and Shannon Travis contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Auto Bailout • General Motors • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Bob

    This guy, Romney, has lied so many time I just don't see how anyone can support him.

    October 31, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  2. Bill the Cat

    If a single Jeep is built on Chinese soil, Romney will be correct. He did not say ALL Jeeps would be built there.

    October 31, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  3. jeff

    Gotta love Mitt !! With all his lies he is going to make a great President........

    October 31, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  4. Dan

    Wake up people, this person is a phony and a liar.

    October 31, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  5. demogoat

    After his failed attempt for president, Mitt helped put a deal together that closed all but one Delphi plant in the US and moved those jobs to China in 2008. He made 150 million which now sits in an offshore account. This is why he won't show his taxes. This is why McCain said he saw nothing in Mitt's taxes that would disqualify him as a running mate. This man does not have the qualities needed to be president.

    October 31, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. parentof6

    I will never buy another GM product and I surely wouldn't buy a FIAT.

    October 31, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  7. Roger

    Re-elect Obama and turn the House in 2012. Remove the obstructions and liars, Boehner et all!

    October 31, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  8. givemeglenn

    Romney's campaign didn't want to comment after being called on their lies by the Auto Industry? Well, I'm sure that they, at least, pulled the false ads after their "mistaken" ads were pointed out to them, right? No? Hmm.Let's see if I've got this straight; Mitt Romney is knowingly running ads that are blatantly false, has been called on it by the President and the entire Auto Industry, and he just doesn't give a rat's behind and is continuing to not only run the ad but added another one on the radio? Is this stupidity, arrogance, or desperation?

    Whatever the reason, it's a clear example that Mitt Romney is dishonest and he thinks the American voters are downright ignorant because they must believe whatever he says or we won't question it just because he's Mitt Romney. America doesn't need a pompous, egotistical, unscrupulous, me-first, money-hungry CEO in the White House. The United States isn't a Corporation and shouldn't/can't be run like one.

    I might add that just a few short years ago, as our Country was being thrown into the worst Recession since the Great Depression, we discovered all of these Corporate CEO's raping and pillaging their companies and getting these huge payouts (some are still getting along quite well), and these people got away with screwing all of us because the safeguards that were monitoring these institutions were stripped away.

    These are the same CEO's that are Mitt Romney's "friends" who are in that top 1%; the same people who want to remove the safeguards that have just been placed on the industry to protect us so they can get right back to their greedy ways.

    October 31, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  9. Ballserium

    I love it more and more. Mitt Romney's still lying out of his teeth just to make a point that doesn't exist, to people who are voting for him anyway.

    October 31, 2012 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  10. R Sanatorium

    Romney has become the Pied Piper of the Republican party.....

    October 31, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
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