When Mitt Romney’s campaign released an ad falsely claiming that Chrysler is shifting Jeep production to China, it made autoworkers fear they would lose their jobs. Fact-checkers debunked the misleading ad — Jeep is expanding production in China, not moving American jobs overseas. In fact, Chrysler is even increasing production at Jeep plants in Ohio, Illinois, and Detroit. Despite its blatant falsehoods, the Romney campaign expanded the ad campaign.
In an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley this morning, Romney surrogate Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) defended the false campaign ad:
CROWLEY: The Mitt Romney campaign has put up an ad that has been found by all the fact-checking folks to be false. [...] Why not take this one down?
PORTMAN: First of all, the ad is accurate. Bill Clinton was in Pennsylvania yesterday talking about it–
CROWLEY: You’re the only folks who think it’s accurate.
PORTMAN: [...] Jeep has said they’re going to reopen a facility that was closed after Daimler-Chrysler broke apart years ago, and it’ll be in China to produce for the Chinese market. That’s all the ad says. There’s nothing inaccurate about it.
And on Fox News Sunday, Romney’s political director Rich Beeson avoided talking about the false ad entirely. In response to a direct question about the ad, he said that President Obama is “talking about scaring people, when, yesterday he’s out there saying, voting is the best revenge.”
It’s the Romney campaign’s ad, however, that is making people think they could lose their jobs. The idea that Jeep plans to get rid of U.S. jobs has been widely panned as a blatant falsehood. But the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign has made it clear they do not want to “let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”