By Jed Lewison/Daily Kos
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told a rally in northern Ohio on Thursday night that Chrysler was considering moving production of its Jeep vehicles to China, apparently reacting to incorrect reports circulating online. "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," Romney said at a rally in Defiance, Ohio, home to a General Motors powertrain plant. "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."Only Mitt Romney could take a story about how Chrysler is expanding into the Chinese market ... and turn it into a story about how if he doesn't get elected, Chrysler might send all of its Jeep production there. Apparently, Romney saw some headlines on some right-wing blogs and went with it, but as Greg Sargent points out all the facts to debunk Romney's assertion are in the original article that he claimed as his source. But Romney didn't simply get his facts wrong. As Jonathan Cohn points out, Chrysler is actually expanding Jeep production right here in the United States.
Romney was apparently responding to reports Thursday on right-leaning blogs that misinterpreted a recent Bloomberg News story earlier this week that said Chrysler, owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA, is thinking of building Jeeps in China for sale in the Chinese market.
About 1,100 new Chrysler employees will begin working next week on a third crew at Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit as sales of Jeep Grand Cherokees continue to rise.So not only did Romney spread a false claim that Chrysler was looking to move all of its Jeep production to China, he overlooked the fact that Chrysler is actually expanding Jeep production right here in the United States. Obviously, Mitt Romney is desperate to win over Ohio voters who are wary of supporting him because he opposed the auto bailout, but it really is disturbing that this sort of dishonesty is the way he'd go about doing it. It's not just simple Romnesia: it's inventing an entirely new reality, completely untethered from the truth, in order to support his personal political ambitions. Romney isn't spinning—he's lying. It's one thing for a candidate to present a set of facts in the most politically advantageous way possible, but it's quite another to just make stuff up completely.
I know there's a risk of sounding holier-than-thou because in campaigns there's always going to be some exaggerations or stretching of the truth, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. But that's not what Romney does. He lies. When he speaks, he doesn't care about the accuracy of what he says—he only cares about whether his words help him achieve his personal goals. That is the essence of dishonesty and it's a fundamental character flaw.
Perhaps that willingness to lie served him well as CEO of Bain, but it's an appalling trait for a presidential candidate, let alone—God forbid—a president.