News Column

Obama Ad Stresses Romney 'Dishonesty' on Auto Rescue

Nov. 1, 2012

Todd Spangler

Finally returning to Michigan with advertising money, President Barack Obama's campaign is airing its second TV spot in as many days going after Republican rival Mitt Romney for his position on the rescue of the auto industry. The ad -- called "Cynical" -- is airing both in Michigan and in Ohio, which most pundits consider more of a key battleground state going into next Tuesday's election. But Romney supporters have begun to flood Michigan with ads this week and the Obama campaign has moved to blunt their potential impact.

In a conference call with reporters on Thursday, Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manager, declined to discuss the cost or scope of the TV buy but said it was intended to convey the message that Romney was "wholly dishonest" in auto ads his campaign aired in Ohio.

Romney's ad suggested that the rescue of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009 benefited China more than the U.S. in terms of jobs. Coming on the heels of his repeating a false story that Chrysler planned to move Jeep jobs to China -- where it may add jobs but not from North America -- critics said Romney was trying to mislead voters.

As the Free Press reported this week, executives at GM and Chrysler said any suggestion that they have not been committed to creating jobs in the U.S. is wrong.

GM spokesman Greg Martin said it's like entering "some parallel universe" and added that "No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country."

In Thursday's conference call, Cutter said Romney's ad "is not an ad of a winning campaign" and predicted he'd lose both Michigan and Ohio, which next to Michigan has the most auto industry jobs in the country.

The new Obama ad begins by citing fact-check reports calling Romney's ad "Wholly inaccurate" and "Clearly misleading." It then goes onto recount the statements made by auto executives about Romney's campaign statements before reminding viewers of Romney's November 2008 New York Times editorial headlined "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Romney at the time counseled against heavy government investment in GM and Chrysler, instead recommending a structured bankruptcy much like the two companies later went through. But the Obama administration and others have argued that without government investment both companies could have been liquidated because no private financing was available at the time.

Obama has been widely credited with helping the companies return to profitability and add thousands of jobs through some $80 billion in government investment and the structured bankruptcy process, which his administration oversaw.

Source: (c)2012 Detroit Free Press Distributed by MCT Information Services

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