The spin around Romney’s echoing of a Bloomberg report saying Fiat officials were considering moving Jeep production in China is in full swing. Who’s right?
Mitt Romney’s statement on Jeep
Romney, probably referencing this Bloomberg article, said that he ” 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.” The Detroit Free Press and Obama campaign are in full spin mode to show that Romney lied about the Jeep move when actually.. Romney was right.
According the Bloomberg, heads of both Chrysler and Fiat said that they have “plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country.” That sounds like Fiat is seriously considering moving ALL Jeep production to China at some point.
Fiat SpA (F), majority owner of Chrysler Group LLC, plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually make all of its models in that country, according to the head of both automakers’ operations in the region.
This, of course, would be highly-damaging to the Obama campaign’s efforts to use the auto bailout “success” story to woo Ohio voters so the left-wing media machine is out spinning Romney’s referencing published media reports as a blatant attempt to skew a wire story.
The Detroit Free Press started its spin article with:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney falsely claimed Thursday night that Chrysler Group may move all Jeep vehicle production to China, drawing criticism from the Obama campaign, which said the Michigan native had blatantly skewed a news wire story.
Shortly after the news broke, Chrysler went into damage control mode as well. Chrysler’s vice president of communications Gualberto Ranieri said “Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.” A direct contradiction to statements made by Mike Manley, the president of the Jeep brand. Manly said that Fiat is in “very detailed conversations” with its Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (2238), about making Jeeps in the world’s largest auto market. Manley continued saying that they are “reviewing the opportunities within existing capacity” for a move to China and considering if they should “be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio.” That statement clearly shows that Jeep is considering moving its entire line to China – which is what Romney said.
Romney didn’t say Jeep was definitively moving the entire line. The presidential candidate simply echoed Mike Manley’s comment that they are thinking about it. The knee-jerk spin effort by the left is clearly a panic move and Chrysler is likely responding to pressure from the Obama campaign and/or groups friendly to the campaign such as unions.
DailyKos titled its spin piece “Chrysler Rebukes Romney Jeep to China Lie in Ohio!”. Yes, Chrysler rebuked, not Romney, but the press article. Also, Romney didn’t lie - DailyKOS got this one wrong. Shock.
Mainstream media outlets have echoed the sentiment of progressive extremist sites like DailyKOS and the DemocraticUnderground. MiamiCBSLocal.com printed a story entitled “Romney makes bogus claim about Jeep in Ohio” reinforcing the liberal perspective.
Why this is important
If Bloomberg got the story wrong and/or mis-quoted a Jeep representative then a retraction or correction should be issued. The fact that a major news outlet reported the story and Romney simply said he was concerned about that story is in no way indicative of Romney being untruthful.
Fiat is following GM’s lead as General Motors had also announced that it would be increasing its manufacturing output in China instead of adding that output to American factories.
The fact that the President and liberal media were so quick to jump on this shows the amount of panic in the Obama campaign. A key portion of the Obama narrative is that the bailout saved American jobs and that Romney causes jobs to go overseas. If the Jeep brand president says they are thinking about moving the entire line to China, the narrative is gone – the president is left with only the killing of Bin Laden to take into the last week and a half of the election cycle and Ohio’s vote will likely center much more on the automotive sector than a dead terrorist.