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Despite the facts, Romney doubles down on false Jeep claim

This post was updated on October 30, 2012.

By continuing to tell voters that Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China, Mitt Romney has once again demonstrated his utter lack of regard for the truth.

Even though Chrysler, along with scores of independent fact checkers, has repeatedly pointed out that Jeep has no intention of shifting production, the Romney campaign has doubled down and released a wildly misleading advertisement on the airwaves in Ohio.

Click here to see why Romney’s claim doesn’t withstand basic scrutiny.

In fact, Chrysler is expanding U.S. production and posting record profits. Today the company announced that its third quarter profits nearly doubled to $381 million on the heels of its best September in five years. And Chrysler is adding workers in Toledo and Detroit to support additional Jeep production, which has nearly tripled since 2009 in order to keep up with global demand.

As Chrysler’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, made abundantly clear, “Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.”

But despite the facts, Mitt Romney has refused to take down the ad. Newspapers and commentators across the country have taken note, and they’ve begun to highlight the Romney campaign’s brazen dishonesty:

Politifact: “Pants On Fire”

“The ad leaves the clear impression that Jeeps built in China come at the expense of American workers…

“The ad ignores the return of American jobs to Chrysler Jeep plants in the United States, and it presents the manufacture of Jeeps in China as a threat, rather than an opportunity to sell cars made in China to Chinese consumers. It strings together facts in a way that presents an wholly inaccurate picture.

“We rate the statement Pants on Fire!”

The Washington Post: “4 Pinocchios for Mitt Romney’s misleading ad on Chrysler and China”

“[T]the overall message of the ad is clearly misleading—especially since it appears to have been designed to piggyback off of Romney’s gross misstatement that Chrysler was moving Ohio factory jobs to China.

“It is also especially strange that the ad touts Romney’s endorsement by the Detroit News, when the editorial actually backs up Obama’s criticism of Romney’s response to the auto industry crisis.”

National Journal: “Romney ad wrongly implies Chrysler is sending U.S. jobs to China”

“Republican nominee Mitt Romney is running a new TV ad that implies Chrysler is planning to move U.S. auto jobs to China, though that is not the case

“Despite the controversy, Romney launched a TV ad Sunday that could lead viewers to conclude Chrysler was indeed going to shift Jeep production to China.”

Los Angeles Times: Romney’s claim is “not true.”

“But in an indication that Romney’s campaign is worried about the impact of the bailouts, he is airing an ad claiming that Obama took car companies into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to a company that plans to start producing Jeeps in China. The implication is not true: Fiat is making Jeeps in China for the Chinese market but did not eliminate any American jobs or stop making Jeeps in the United States.”

NBC Northwest Ohio: “Jeep not leaving Toledo for China, Chrysler assures”

“UAW Region 2B director Ken Lortz called Romney’s statements about Jeep production moving to China ‘offensive and wrong.’

“‘The auto industry supports 1 in 8 jobs in Ohio. We Ohioans know the truth. We will continue to build our great products here in Toledo, in Ohio, and across this great nation because thanks to President Obama, America’s auto industry has come roaring back. We will never forget that you [Romney] were so quick to let it slip away,’  Lortz said….

“The Romney campaign has not yet issued a response to the incorrect statements made about Jeep production during the Defiance rally.”

Detroit Free Press: “Romney repeats false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China; Chrysler refutes story”

“Romney’s comments were immediately skewered by auto industry observers and Romney’s political opponents because Chrysler has added about 7,000 workers in the U.S. and Canada since emerging from chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009.

“The company is planning to add about 900 workers at its pickup plant in Warren by March.”

The Washington Post: “The Romney ad has been widely criticized for leaving the impression that Chrysler is moving jobs from its Toledo, Ohio Jeep plant overseas.”

“14-year Jeep worker James Fayson said he was offended that Romney had implied his job could be shipped overseas.

‘The fact that you would fabricate a story about our jobs moving to China makes you the worst kind of politician,’ he said of Romney.

“Ken Lortz, director of the UAW for Ohio and Indiana, called the ad the ‘lowest form of political tactic.’

“He said Romney had only ‘angered Ohioans who know better.’

“‘We knew he wasn’t on our side when the economy and the industry was on the brink, but the fact that he would lie to our faces and try to deceive us is just too much,’ he said.”

Business Insider: “Mitt Romney has been telling a huge whopper about the auto industry, and his campaign is finally paying for it.”

”Ads that mislead or stretch the truth are nothing new for presidential campaigns. But this ad—and Romney’s comments last week—has prompted harsh criticism from the media, likely because it strikes reporters as not only disingenuous, but irresponsible. For Romney to suggest that the livelihoods of specific voters—namely workers at the Jeep plant in Toledo—are in danger in order to win an election comes across to many as the type of fear-mongering that no one wants in a president.

This deliberately deceptive ad is only the latest example of Mitt Romney’s attempts to rewrite history when it comes to the auto industry. While President Obama made the tough, politically unpopular decision to rescue the U.S. auto industry and save more than 1 million jobs, Mitt Romney wanted to—and would have—“let Detroit go bankrupt.” And President Obama has fought against unfair Chinese trade practices that make it harder to export American-made cars like Jeeps. Voters in Ohio and Michigan won’t be fooled by Romney’s distortions—they’re well acquainted with his record, and they have no reason to expect he would suddenly start standing up for them as President.