News Release For Immediate Release: October 10, 2012 Contact: Dale Butland, 614-783-5833
ROMNEY, KASICH LIE ABOUT AUTO RESCUE IO; Auto Czar Rattner Say Jobs & China Claims are “Cynical Deceptions”COLUMBUS — Steven Rattner joined Innovation Ohio today at a Columbus news conference to “blow the whistle on the Romney campaign’s cynical attempt to mislead Ohio voters about the auto rescue.” Rattner was Lead Advisor to President Obama during the 2009 rescue of the auto industry. Innovation Ohio is a progressive think tank headquartered in Columbus. Rattner and IO cited numerous instances in which the Romney campaign and its GOP allies – including Ohio Gov. John Kasich – have attempted to mislead Ohio voters, including:
- At an October 25 campaign rally in Defiance, Romney claimed that “Jeep is thinking of moving all production to China.” The company emphatically denied the charge the same day, saying “Jeep has no intention of shifting production out of North America” and criticizing Romney’s claim in unusually blunt language as “a leap that would be difficult even for circus acrobats” and lamenting “unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.” In fact, Jeep intends to restart production in China by hiring additional workers, not moving U.S. jobs there. It’s akin to Honda or Toyota opening plants here to build cars for the American market.
- Despite the company’s rebuke, on October 27 the Romney campaign began airing a television ad misleadingly saying that “Obama … sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.” The ad also contains three additional distortions:
- It states that Obama “took the auto companies through bankruptcy” — conveniently omitting that was Romney’s plan as well;
- It says that the conservative-leaning Detroit News “endorsed Romney” — conveniently omitting that the endorsement criticized his position on the auto rescue, while praising Obama’s “extraordinary leadership” on the issue.
- It states that Romney has a “plan to help the auto industry” — when neither he nor his campaign has ever announced or spelled out such a plan.
- As a result, the ad has been rated false by numerous media fact-checkers, including the Tampa Tribune’s “Politifact” which rated it “Pants On Fire.”
- On October 28, in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Gov. Kasich that Ohio is only “up a total of 400 auto jobs when you count the companies and suppliers.” In fact, Innovation Ohio has shown that the industry has created over 17,300 Ohio jobs since the rescue. And according to the Kasich Administration’s own Department of Development, 34% of private investment in 2011 – including 11 of 29 investments over $50 million — were in the auto industry. These deals accounted for 18% of all private sector job announcements reported by the Department.
- On October 30, the Romney campaign tripled down on its deceit with a radio ad which not only repeats the debunked claim about Chrysler shipping American jobs to China, but claims that GM is planning to do so too. The ad also falsely blames President Obama for GM “cutting 15,000 American jobs.” In truth, these losses occurred prior to the President’s rescue plan in the summer of 2009. Since then, more than 152,000 American auto jobs have been created.
An op-ed piece co-authored by IO’s Janetta King and Tom Perriello of the Center for American Progress is running in the The Plain Dealer today. It clearly answers the question: “Who is right on the auto rescue debate raging in Ohio?” Poised on either side of the debate are President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney (Romney, aided and abetted by Ohio Gov. John Kasich). The answer to the question is: The President. From the op-ed: [Read more…]
Only in our current hyper-partisan political environment – where everything must be run through an ideological wringer – could the saving of an entire American industry become such a political football. Of course, I’m talking about the financial rescue of GM and Chrysler – which was in essence the rescue of the entire industry. Innovation Ohio’s policy staff has tracked the growth of auto industry jobs in Ohio since mid 2009 and the numbers – from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – tell us that more than 17,000 auto jobs have been added. This is the sort of statistic touted by the Obama Administration. On the other side is Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He famously penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal which argued against federal involvement in backstopping the auto industry. Rather than quietly move on from an issue that didn’t go his way – the rescue worked – he and Ohio Gov. John Kasich talk down Ohio’s recovering economy and the auto industry’s place in that recovery. Dan Gearino of The Columbus Dispatch has written a well-reported, balanced piece on the raging debate over the auto rescue. What interested me in the story is what auto industry executives had to say about the rescue. [Read more…]