Biden accuses Romney camp of 'outrageous lie'
October 31st, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 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."

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. WhereIsPalin

    RYAN / romney 2012..........look what happens when you ask for ANYONE but Obama.

    October 31, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  2. Pander Bear

    When the CEO of a major corporation comes out and tells you that the GOP candidate for President is lying, you know that Mitt has completed his descent into the dark side.

    October 31, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Kwhite

    I am tired of lies and hidden tax returns. My vote was cast on Monday for President Obama – A true leader we can count on. Romney will run this country to the ground and the only people to win will be the rich.

    October 31, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  4. Billy Davis

    We have gain over 700k manufacturing jobs from overseas. The President is giving incentives for companies to move jobs back to the US. Yet, the Chameleon that wanted the US car manufacturers and The UAW to die claims he's for them . Romney is a prolific liar.

    October 31, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. just wondering

    It's not lying... It's known as the Romney policy... Tell everybody what they want to hear... It's the Romney way....

    October 31, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  6. Dave

    "Lying for the Lord" is part of the Mormon liturgy. The truth is supposed to be revealed to LDS adherents, but this is also a lie. Lying is what defines LDS.

    October 31, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |

    this country deserves what it has gotten over the last 4 years, the news media did not vet this man at all and he was no more qualified to be president then i would be.Romney is not only qualified for the job he was made for just this situation, he knows how to create jobs and balance budgets,obama has proven he knows nothing about either.he also has divided us more then any president in history and no I am not a racist,it would have been awsome to have the first black president actully have built on the goodwill that was there after the 2008 election,such a huge dissapointment

    October 31, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. works4me

    Mitt Romney's business experience: He ran a business, who's business it was to destroy others business' and make his business millions. I'm impressed!

    America is not a business and no one should try to run it as such. America is a country. MY country and I'll never vote for someone that will sell the White House to the highest bidder.

    This guy is a sleazy used car salesman and will say anything to achieve the brass ring. Just ask any person in Mass. America needs to wake up to that fact... before it's too late.

    October 31, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  9. William

    If it was true the auto companies are moving jobs to China, the would do is deny it. If it was not true, they would deny it.

    In other words, a car company denial means nothing.

    October 31, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. rs

    Hey Four-

    From USA Today:
    "And while Mitt Romney sticks to his false Chrysler narrative, an even more damning story about the dirty dealing of Mitt Romney's investment partners during the 2009 restructuring of GM is beginning to emerge.

    Mitt Romney and his partners made a killing on the GM bankruptcy by gaining control of bankrupt parts supplier Delphi, then threatening to withhold components critical to the production of GM vehicles. Romney's business partners were willing to force GM into liquidation and cause a national economic calamity unless they got more money. In the end, the Romney investor group got what it wanted and earned a profit of more than 3,000 percent on its initial investment."

    Yeah- THAT's what Mr. Romney is all about.

    October 31, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  11. Name

    Romney. The walking contradiction knows not what he has said.
    He will say anything that he thinks the crowd wants to hear even if it is wrong or just a legitimate lie.
    Be blessed

    October 31, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. john

    GM has already built or committed plans to build eleven manufacturing plants in China. We owe China so much money now we have no choice. The information is there and the math is simple.

    October 31, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. Rick Simm

    "If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there's still a 30 percent chance we're going to get it wrong." Joe Biden

    October 31, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  14. Petra

    I could site plenty of occasions in the news, add and out of Mit Romney own mouth where Mit Romney is a flat out liar. I have never seen a person in public office (in today's society) lies and continue to lie when he or she knows that the lie is recorded!
    Mit Romney go and sit in a corner!!
    Or you can get your GOP Superpack to make a donation to the Sandy's Victim Relief fund. You notice that I did not suggest you pick up couple of bags of grocery (some people have no food to cook your grocery on) or a few bottle of water-try to make some valuable contribution!
    Or I forgot that the President is on top and I mean top of his job as President of the US and you have to start licking you wombs from your lost in a corner!
    You are wrong for America Mit the Liar!

    October 31, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  15. Phyllis

    Who do you want to manage the reconstruction along the East Coast? You can have Romney, a proven fixer–or Obama, a proven corrupt politician.

    October 31, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  16. aaron

    Why's Ryan complaining about lost jobs? His boss Romney specializes in laying off Americans and outsourcing the jobs to China.

    October 31, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  17. jp

    Romney is a Fraud and should be ashamed. Is anyone actual proud of who he is?

    November 1, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  18. debbyv

    If everyone would read their history books you would find out that every GOP President since Hoover ('29 crash) has put the US in a bind finance wise because of their policies of letting Wall Street and banks run rampet. Their lobbiest run the GOP. My mother always said that Republicans were trying to turn the US into a third world country. NAFTA anyone? The so called conservatives who keep trying to shove their version of religion down my throat are worse than the Jhad. Keep your religious views to your self didn't elect you to tell me how to worship, God gave me free will and I plan to keep it that way.

    November 1, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  19. dissatisfied

    Part of an article from Bloomberg:

    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.”

    You decide.

    November 1, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  20. Adam

    "Biden accuses Romney camp of 'outrageous lie'" Romney camp shrugs and says "duh, its what we do".

    November 1, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  21. Justin

    Pretty hypocritical of liberals. Obama has based most of his campaign on false or twisted facts attacks on Romney and Ryan. Yet, CNN doesn't run a single story on all of those. Nor do they mention a single thing on Libya or the Seals that were left for dead in the field of battle. CNN anchors today were attacking Romney for helping bring in donations for storm relief saying victims didn't want or need any donations by any Republicans. Only democrat donations were acceptable for storm relief. I wonder what the actual victims think about such statements.

    November 1, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  22. Justin

    Shannon, liberal media has done nothing but twist facts, lie, and run cover ups to the point its simply ridiculous. I myself do not attach myself to any party and think it is foolish for all that do for this very reason. Liberal media targets the less educated and runs their far left idealism as such. As for the Jeep, they didn't really deny anything other than completely moving the entire company. What they said was they will be opening up some plants in China and at the moment would not be downsizing. But, they didn't say they would downsize in the U.S. once those China operations were up and going either. I can tell they use there words very carefully here (written by a lawyer or with lawyer present) and that raises concerns to me. Do I think its either Obama's or Romney's fault? We know its not Romney's, but I really don't think it matters who was in office, they would probably be doing the same thing regardless.

    November 1, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  23. Previously a Democrat

    Good lord, if Obama gets re-elected look at the mess he will inherent this time. If this country has any sense then he won't get that shot, but if somehow he does it will be funny to see how he tries to blame somebody else for the economy that he has made worse. I voted for him in 08 but NO WAY this time.
    WAKE UP America, stop hating Mitt because of his success and start realizing that Obama simply doesn't have it. Nice try, but four years and no progress won't get my vote again.

    November 1, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
1 2 3 4