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Jeep claim labeled “Lie of the Year”

by Bill Cawthon on

The Tampa Bay (Florida) Times’ Pulitzer-Prize-winning Politifact organization has named the Romney campaign speech that implied Chrysler Group was planning to move Jeep production to China its “Lie of the Year.”

In the speech, delivered to a crowd in Defiance, Ohio, on October 25, Mr. Romney said that Chrysler was planning to move Jeep production to China, thereby endangering Ohio jobs. Mr. Romney was relying on information posted by Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner that was based on an incorrect conclusion from a Bloomberg News report that the automaker was planning to add local Jeep production in China. The Drudge Report picked up on the Bedard blog and the misinformation spread.

Despite clarifications from Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s senior vice president of communications and Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, the Romney campaign stood behind its statements and incorporated them in a television ad run in an effort to swing Ohio to the GOP column.

“Who will do more for the auto industry? Not Barack Obama. Fact checkers confirm that his attacks on Mitt Romney are false. The truth? Mitt Romney has a plan to help the auto industry. He is supported by Lee Iacocca and the Detroit News. 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.”

Chrysler Group remained noncommittal throughout the campaign and, other than the clarifications, had no comment on the remarks.

To read the entire Politifact article, click here.

 

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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