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Spin:Romney’s Jeep comments meant to scare Ohioans

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.

The Spin

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.

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Comments (34)

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  1. Jan Brown says:

    Let us consider that some do not read the entire post, some do, but have no real knowledge of the subject from other sources. There are those that have a particular interest & are informed. Let us also realize that any author of posts on this site ‘do their homework” before posting & generally can be relied on factully.& will be happy to answer any questions regarding it. Party line sound bytes add nothing to the discussion. IF you disagree & have bona fide information that will expand the reader’s knowledge (beyond derogatory remarks or name calling) I’ll bet that CDN would be happy to post it so that all of us can benefit from your knowledge. After all, the internet is the ‘Information Hiway’ & inspite of this site being “conservative’ we appear to attract those of more liberal views. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but this ‘zing, I gottcha’ is just plain doesn’t do it for me.
    (This ad was paid for & approved by me)

  2. s l mccoy says:

    Romney actually told Ohioans (this was visually and audially recorded and was on TV) that Jeep was considering moving all of its operations to China. This was not in the Bloomberg article and is not true. Thank God I’m not a Republican or Conservative – they don’t have any discerning intelligence at all.

    • R. Mitchell says:

      Here’s the first paragraph of the Bloomberg article:

      “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.”

      See the phrase “may eventually make all of its models in that country” – it includes the word ALL and is attributed to the senior leadership at Chrysler.

      • Jo Verneuille says:

        “May eventually make all of its models in that country,” is a far cry from “may eventually move all production to that country.” Moreover, the Bloomberg article specifically goes on to say, “Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.” It’s called “reading comprehension” — you and Romney should try it some time when he’s not trying to scare Ohioans into voting for him.

      • MND says:

        “All of its models” means — hold on now, this may shock you — “all of its models”. You know what “make and model” means, don’t you? The make would be Chrysler, the model would be Jeep. Other models would be the 200 Convertible, the 200 Sedan, the Town & Country. Chrysler may make all of those *models* that it wants to sell to the Chinese market in a plant it’s building in China. That does not mean it’s going to make all the *cars* it wants to sell all over the world in China. There will still need to be plants in the US to make the cars it wants to sell in the US. You can’t really be this simple, can you? Please tell me you’re deliberately playing dumb.

  3. DLB says:

    Who’s spinning here? The author of the article above (R. Mitchell) states:

    “Shortly after the news broke [of the Detroit Free Press's "spin"], 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.”

    How is that a “direct contradiction” of Manley’s previous statement? As paragraph 5 of the Bloomberg article from Monday states:

    “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

    Rather than a direct contradiction, it sounds to me like Ranieri and Manley both said the same thing, that Chrystler’s (consistent) position was accurately reported in the Bloomberg article, and that Mr. Romney simply misread the Bloomberg article. I don’t see know how a rational person could reach any other conclusion.

    • Frank says:

      Nice cherry-picking there DLB. In the very next sentence the author tells you why it’s a contradiction:

      “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.”

      And as previous commenters said, that’s from the second paragraph of the October 22nd Bloomberg article.

      • MND says:

        Mice reading comprehension there, Frank. They can make Jeeps in China without making all Jeeps in China. Are you really this bad at reading, or just pretending to be because it suits your purposes? Either way, it’s not a good look.

        • Frank says:

          MND, DLB or whatever your name is.. your response is “reading comprehension?” .. “Not a good look?”

          I have no idea what point you were trying to make, but you may have been the only person to understand it.

          • MND says:

            I’m sure you frequently have no idea what point people are trying to make, Frank. Since you’re a guy who seemingly can’t tell the difference between “making Jeeps in China” and “making all Jeeps in China”, your lack of understanding probably isn’t a reliable indicator of whether they’ve done a good job of making it.

  4. T-Mo says:

    Romney most likely read (or more likely his staffers read) the Washington Examiner story instead of the bloomberg article.

    And the biggest problem is that Romney doesn’t apparently know what “localization” means in the auto industry.

    That means the vehicles will be changed/altered for the convenience of its customers, the local Chinese, meaning these newly made vehicles would be for sale in China only!

    So obviously Jeep is still going to sell vehicles in NA meaning they still need the NA plants.

    Romney also ignores the 1,000 new jobs coming to Jeep in Toledo and the 1,100 new jobs coming to Jeep in Detroit.

    • Frank says:

      So while the Chinese make their products employing Chinese workers to export to America, we should export the jobs overseas to deal with foreign demand?

      Isn’t that just what the President accuses Romney of doing?

      • MND says:

        No, while the Chinese make Jeeps in China for the Chinese market. You don’t think that trying to expand into the market of a country with more than four times the population of the US might require a couple of more plants, and that it might make sense to put those plants where the market is? So you’re not very good at math or business, either, then.

        • R. Mitchell says:

          The poster makes a valid point, that you quickly disregarded MND. At some point, it China is the fastest growing economy, if we ship the foreign jobs to that market… not many will be left here. It will result in a net loss in American jobs within said company and a net increase in jobs in the Chinese company. That is the result of “shipping jobs overseas”. Either we decide to produce our products in America or we’re ok with producing them in other countries. Liberals cannot have it both ways.

          • MND says:

            No, I made a point that you’re ignoring. We are not shipping jobs to China. Not one US job is going to China. You and the other commenter are either deliberately obfuscating, or you just don’t get that every US car maker has always had overseas plants in multiple countries. That’s why they’re called multinational corporations. It makes perfectly good business sense for General Motors to build a plant in China to service a market for which its US plants could never meet the demand and keep the US market supplied as well. And you people are supposed to be the ones who are good at capitalism? Sheesh.

          • MND says:

            Bleagh, I meant Chrysler, not General Motors.

  5. Don says:

    Wow, what a hatchet job this article is. Why even spend time writing it if its just going to be compete diarrhea. So a right wing blog is correct and Chysler is in damage control and pressured by the Obama Amin? C’mon man.

  6. Justthefacts says:

    The fifth paragraph of the story says: “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

    It’s a poorly written story, and Manley’s comments weren’t very clear. Shame on Romney for taking things out of context. But then again, his pollster said during the convention that they weren’t going to let fact-checkers get in the way of this campaign.

    • Elman says:

      So you ignore the second paragraph and take whichever parts you like. The second paragraph clearly reads “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, said Mike Manley, chief operating officer of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia. Chrysler hasn’t built Jeeps there since before Fiat took control in 2009.”

      I don’t have to say more, the paragraph is pretty clear about what Manley says.

      • Siege says:

        Yes, the paragrapg IS very clear about what it says – that Fiat is considering about maing Jeeps in China. What it clearly DOES NOT say is that Chrysler is going to move ALL jeep production to China.
        Seriously, the only people I see on here that are ignoring anything are the ones who ignoring common sense and reality.

        • R. Mitchell says:

          And … here’s the very first paragraph of the bloomberg article which you ignored:

          “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.”

  7. labman57 says:

    Team Romney has been employing standard Rove-Atwater tactics: it matters little whether his campaign rhetoric has any basis in reality. All that matters is that he can sell it to the voting populace.

    The assumption is that If you keep repeating the lie over and over, eventually some people will conclude that it must be true, simply because they continually heard it being uttered.

    Furthermore, Mitt routinely makes crap up because he cannot be bothered with doing his homework so that his comments are drawn from verifiable facts and empirical data so that they reflect reality.

    Lately, he has been channeling his inner Bachmann — taking distorted or misinterpreted news reports, unsubstantiated, isolated anecdotal accounts, and wild rumors spawned from the right wing blogosphere, and using them as stump speech talking points … or worse … as the basis for formulating public policy positions.

    • Elman says:

      Unlike Obama who decided to lie and tell the world that Congress came up with the Sequestor when by all accounts, both liberal and conservative, it was the White House that dreamed up that fiasco of a plan.

  8. s l mccoy says:

    Romney did make a false claim about Jeep, whether he did so because he misinterpreted the Bloomberg article or read some misinterpretation of it elsewhere. It turns out that Jeep has had significant success in the US and is increasing its workforce here, but China is a great market, too, and auto imports there face serious obstacles, so it plans to expand by adding production in China for the Chinese, too.

    If you want to be President of the US,you ought to get the facts straight before saying things like this. Romney just makes too many factual errors, and here he is making one about a business that basically maligns that business to an audience of people who would take it that way. If that’s what you have to do to get elected, you have reduced your campaign to fantasy. The internet is there to fact-check you.

    • Elman says:

      He didn’t misinterpret anything. The article literally said “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, said Mike Manley”

      If the journalist screwed up, that’s one thing. But because it got published and Romney simply quoted it thinking the journalist had done his work is not the same thing as misinterpreting – unless your a liberal.

      • Siege says:

        And the article literally DID NOT say that Fiat or Chrysler are moving ALL Jeep production to China. It literally DID say that Manley was referring to opening facilities in China, NOT moving production from North America. Liberals and Conservatives – you both see only what you want to see.

      • MND says:

        No, the journalist did not screw up. He just assumed that people reading the story would be sophisticated enough to understand that opening new plants to increase production for a particular market doesn’t in any way imply moving operations. Well, maybe that was a screw-up, come to think of it. But I guarantee you, Romney is plenty sophisticated enough to know the difference.

  9. Ranger says:

    Does the left and MSM do anything but spin? Some paper quotes the Jeep president and it’s somehow Romney’s fault!

    Of course Jeep is looking at alternatives to the current economic situation in America – many are.

    • Siege says:

      Plese read the article more closely. It may not be Romney’s fault, but it is obviously the fault of SOMEBODY in his campaign since they either missed or ignored the part of the quote where is specifically states that Manley WAS NOT talking about moving production from the U.S.

      • R. Mitchell says:

        Or they read the first paragraph of the article along with the rest of it. Reposting to make sure it doesn’t get missed:

        “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.”

        • MND says:

          Yes, yes, you very clearly do not understand what that sentence means. You’ve demonstrated that repeatedly. Congratulations.

  10. George A. Wojtowycz says:

    Do ou honestly think tht at this point after getting it’s butt saved by Obama, that Fiat or Chrysler have any leg to stand on, let alone walk to China?

    • Jay says:

      Sure Fiat does because it was gifted Chrysler by the Obama admin. Fiat wasn’t saved by the admin Chrysler was. So what reason does Fiat have not to move stuff to China besides who can blame them in a market like it is here with all the regulations and what not why not move to China.