For those of you who don’t remember or, more likely, have intentionally suppressed the memories of most of what Mittens did on the campaign trail, here’s a look at the original ad, the 32-second Lie of the Year, which ran after Romney made the claim that Chrysler at a rally in Defiance, Ohio, on Oct. 25:
Like a lot of what Mittens had to say over the course of the campaign, the basis for the claim that Jeep was heading to China came from bad information from the start. With Chrysler growing again after the emerging from bankruptcy, company executives were looking to continue expansion by adding Jeep manufacturing facilities in China – in order to sell Jeeps on the Chinese market. No U.S. manufacturing would be shuttered or moved. That didn’t bother Romney’s campaign, though, who gleefully ran with the claim in the final weeks before the election, claiming he’d be the one to protect American jobs while the socialist communist Kenyan Muslim in the White House exported all the work overseas.
Fact checkers everywhere, including PolitiFact and FactCheck.org pounced on the claim for its obvious faults, but the Romney campaign stubbornly stuck to the story. Eventually the controversy got so large, the Obama campaign responded with an ad of its own, eviscerating the Republican candidates claim.
Here’s the video:
But Obama wasn’t the only one calling shenanigans – Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne responded to the attack on his company >in an email, saying in part:
I feel obliged to unambiguously restate our position: Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China … Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different.
Other Chrysler executives were less diplomatic. When professional human troll Donald Trump jumped into the fray on Twitter, another Chrysler executive, Ralph Giles, was quick to call him out:
Even after the election night results came in, Romney’s campaign staff insisted the Jeep ad had worked and had help shore up the numbers in Ohio, a state Romney was already having troubles in because of previous claims about the auto industry.
In the end, it’s difficult to say exactly how much of an impact this one claim, and its connected advertisements, had on Romney’s loss, but in a campaign that rewrote the book trying to lie your way into office, this one stood out head and shoulders above the rest as “Lie of the Year” and, perhaps more importantly, yet another big reason Americans should be glad Mitt Romney will not be president.