Obama campaign releases its own Jeep to China ad


The Obama campaign today responded to a Mitt Romney campaign ad warning of a shift of Jeep production to China with its own ad call Mr. Romney's latest claims "dishonest."

The 30-second Obama spot rebuts the Romney campaign ad that began airing in Toledo on Saturday which quotes a report that Chrysler "plans to return Jeep output to China."

"After Romney's false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China, Chrysler itself has refuted Romney's lie," the Obama narrator says, again reminding viewers that Mr. Romney advocated "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" in a 2008 newspaper article.

The TV commercial, which shows the North Toledo Jeep assembly complex, will run only in Toledo and is set to start airing Tuesday.

The ad also alludes to The Detroit News, which endorsed Mr. Romney, as criticizing his "wrongheadedness on the auto bailout." It then says the truth is that "Chrysler is adding jobs in Ohio," quoting a Blade article reporting plans to hire 1,100 new workers for the Toledo operation.

A screen shot from the Obama campaign's new TV spot.
A screen shot from the Obama campaign's new TV spot.

The furious dispute over who was right on the auto bailout is dominating the closing days of the election campaign in the state that is likely to decide the outcome of the election, and the issue centers on Toledo, where Fiat-owned Chrysler LLC makes Jeeps.

Mr. Romney last Thursday told a crowd of 12,000 people at a rally in Defiance that, "“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.”

A report in The Washington Examiner published that same day said that, "In another potential blow for the president's Ohio reelection campaign, Jeep, the rugged brand President Obama once said symbolized American freedom, is considering giving up on the United States and shifting production to China."

Chrysler quickly released a statement that the report was inaccurate and was a misreading of an accurate story that appeared three days earlier in Bloomberg News which said that Fiat was thinking of making Jeeps in China to sell in China.

Chris Maloney, a spokesman for Mr. Romney, said the ad is factual.

"Governor Romney has routinely made the point that we should be bolstering American exports and American manufacturing here at home as opposed to bolstering our  American competitors," Mr. Maloney said. "There's no reason why we shoudn't be building those Jeeps and exporting them from the United States."

Watch the ad:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iE5wBfM1LQ.

Contact Tom Troy at tomtroy@theblade.com or 419-724-6058