In his latest attempt to distort President Obama’s consistent record of successfully betting on the American worker, Mitt Romney shamelessly tried to scare voters into thinking that Jeep is moving production to China and taking American jobs with it. The claim is blatantly false: As Chrysler made clear, “Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.”
Here’s what Romney said:
“I saw a story today, that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China. I will fight for every good job in America, I’m going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if it’s fair, America will win.”
And here are the facts:
Chrysler has no intention to shift Jeep production from North America to China. As the company made clear, “a careful and unbiased” understanding of its clearly-stated business plans “would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” In an effort to score cheap political points, Romney is deliberately distorting a Bloomberg News article that reported that, while it may consider expanding into China, Chrysler is not shifting any output from North America to China.
If Romney read the article, he’d know it reports that “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio,” and Mike Manley, the President and CEO of the Jeep brand, was referring to “adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.” As Chrysler noted in a blog post, fooling Americans into thinking that it plans to shift all Jeep production to China and cut U.S. jobs requires a leap that would be “difficult even for professional circus acrobats.”
And not only will Jeep assembly lines continue to stay in operation, Chrysler is actually expanding U.S. production. The company’s assembly plant in Toledo, OH, for example, supports nearly 2,000 jobs—and last year, Chrysler announced it was adding a second shift of 1,100 workers to produce the next Jeep SUV. And next week, Chrysler will add a third shift of 1,100 workers at its Jefferson North plant in Detroit, MI to keep up with demand for the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Thanks to President Obama’s bold and politically unpopular decision to rescue the U.S. auto industry and save more than 1 million jobs, America’s car manufacturers are in the midst of a roaring comeback. Now that they’ve paid back their loans, U.S. automakers have posted record profits, added thousands of jobs, and regained their place as leaders in the industry. In fact, 2011 marked “the first time in years that Chrysler, Ford, and GM have all been profitable at the same time.”
Mitt Romney knows that the auto industry is back on its feet—after all, he’s a “son of Detroit.” But voters in Ohio and Michigan also know that Romney would have “let Detroit go bankrupt” and sacrificed their jobs. As Chrysler made abundantly clear, Jeep’s not going anywhere.
What’s more, President Obama has fought against unfair Chinese trade practices that hurt the U.S. auto industry—filing a case against China at the WTO to stop tariffs that make it harder to export Jeeps and other cars to China. But while the President has fought to safeguard U.S. jobs from Chinese competition by filing trade complaints and imposing strict tariffs, Romney called President Obama’s effort to defend American tire workers from China’s unfair trade practices “bad for the nation and our workers.” President Obama has already filed more than twice as many trade complaints against China as the Bush administration did, and he plans to eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. Romney, on the other hand, would encourage outsourcing by eliminating taxes on Americans companies’ foreign profits, which could create 800,000 jobs in other countries, including China.
Whether it’s standing up to China or standing up for Detroit, when it comes to betting on the American worker, the choice in this election couldn’t be any clearer.
Ohio autoworkers explain what President Obama’s decision to save their jobs and stand up to all those who said “let Detroit go bankrupt” meant for the American auto industry. Take a look, and share this video with your friends and family.
Mitt Romney’s solution to extremism against women is to support the extremists. See for yourself—then share this video with your friends and family.
Mitt Romney knows that the auto rescue saved more than 1 million jobs and that the industry is roaring back. In the last presidential debate, he once again tried to rewrite the history of his position on the auto rescue, claiming that he would have extended help to Detroit. If Americans take a look at his record, they’ll find the incontrovertible proof that Romney opposed the President’s plan to save the auto industry from the beginning. Here are the facts:
Romney opposed the auto rescue, period.
When America’s automakers needed a lifeline, Romney stated his position clearly—“let Detroit go bankrupt.” And during the Republican primaries, Romney criticized the President’s successful rescue of the industry, calling it a “mistake.”
Romney op-ed: “Let Detroit go bankrupt.”
Romney: “If General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout … You can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.”
Romney: President Obama’s rescue of the auto industry was “a mistake.”
President Obama did not take Romney’s advice on the auto rescue.
Now that the auto industry is surging back, Romney says that “the course I recommended was eventually followed.” That’s not true. There’s an enormous gulf between what Romney advocated for—a “private bankruptcy” with guarantees for financing after the fact—and the President’s actions to save the industry. Here’s what reports have said about Romney’s claim:
Reuters fact check: “Romney argued in the Times article that the automakers should not get government help but instead go through a private bankruptcy process to trim costs. That is not what happened.”
Associated Press fact check: “There was a tremendous difference between the course [Romney] advocated and the one that was taken.”
The New York Times fact check: “Mr. Romney’s position was that the government should not bail out the auto industry with financial assistance—which is exactly what the Obama administration proceeded to do.”
The Economist: “Even Ford, which avoided bankruptcy, feared the industry would collapse if GM went down. At the time that seemed like a real possibility. The credit markets were bone-dry, making the privately financed bankruptcy that Mr. Romney favoured improbable. He conveniently ignores this bit of history in claiming to have been right all along.”
Romney’s own auto plan would have forced the industry to shut down.
Most crucially, Romney—despite his contradictory statements designed to whitewash his past positions—never supported providing direct government assistance to GM and Chrysler during a bankruptcy restructuring. In his New York Times op-ed, he made clear that the only government role he wanted would occur after bankruptcy already occurred.
That means the most he ever supported was government “guarantees” of post-bankruptcy financing—but every independent expert to look at the issue has confirmed that, amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, it would have been impossible to attract private capital to stand behind these companies, even with a government guarantee post-bankruptcy, and as a result they would have liquidated under Governor Romney’s strategy.
Romney’s prescription wasn’t a plan, it was a fantasy—a dangerous one that economists say would have led to the Big Three’s collapse and catastrophic job losses across the country.
Auto Nation CEO Mike Jackson: When asked what he thought of “Mitt’s assertion that private financing ‘DIP’ was available in fall of ‘08 into ‘09,” Jackson replied, “That is pure fantasy and you have to ask, what was he doing in ‘08 and ‘09 that he did not see this?”
Reuters’ Paul Ingrassia: “While Romney asserts that a ‘managed bankruptcy’ funded by private investors could have rescued General Motors, absolutely no private money was on the horizon in 2009 for either GM or Chrylser ... the frightened banks wouldn’t have financed it anyway. The only alternative to a government bailout was the outright liquidation of both companies.”
Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi: “Without any government help, the Big Three will quickly end up in bankruptcy and be effectively liquidated, resulting in hundreds of thousands of layoffs at just the wrong time.”
Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz: “Bob Lutz, the vice chairman of GM at the time and an outspoken Republican himself, said the loan guarantees Romney talks about would not have made a difference due to the cash crunch at the time. “The banks were even more broke than we were. Who had the money?” he told the Detroit Free Press in February. “Loan guarantees don’t do any good if the banks don’t have any money.”
In auto states, they aren’t buying Romney’s bogus claims.
The auto industry is at the heart of Midwestern states like Ohio, where it helps support one in eight jobs. People in these states remember President Obama’s bold decision to revive the auto industry—and Mitt Romney’s calls to just let it go bankrupt. They know that Romney’s plan would have been devastating to communities across the country. Take look at what they’ve said about Romney’s auto fiction:
Toledo Blade: “When the history of the 2012 presidential campaign is written, the absurdity of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney taking credit for the rebound of the U.S. auto industry will warrant an entry all its own … He can’t have it both ways—‘Drop dead, Detroit’ in 2008 and ‘I saved you’ in 2012.”
Detroit Free Press: “Romney won’t regain Michigan’s trust until he acknowledges the critical role that government played in sustaining the state’s auto industry—and abandons the fiction that Detroit’s recovery was his idea.” [5/9/12]
Akron Beacon Journal: “Romney advised no government help until after bankruptcy. The president understood such a course wasn’t practical, and would have been devastating to Ohio, Michigan and other states woven tightly into the auto industry.”
Mitt Romney has only made one TV ad endorsing a U.S. Senate candidate in this election: Richard Mourdock. Take a look at what Mourdock has to say about women’s rights—and what this says about Mitt Romney’s choice to stand by him. Then, share this video with his friend.