A GM spokesman says Mitt Romney’s claims about its auto production are from a “parallel universe.” This makes the company the second of the big three automakers to dispute Romney’s comments about jobs getting shipped to China.
In a radio ad running in Ohio, the Romney campaign leveled this attack at President Obama: ”Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. But for who? Ohio or China? Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China. And now comes word that Chrysler is planning to build cars in, you guessed it, China.”
Here’s GM’s rebuttal: “We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”
Romney has previously been under fire for saying in Ohio last week, “I 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.” He was apparently referring to a Bloomberg News article that said Chrysler is planning to open new production sites in China for the Chinese market. The false comment about auto jobs also became the subject of a campaign ad. “Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China,” the ad says.
The media universally called out Romney for the ad, and a Chrysler spokesman rather scathingly disputed it as well: ”Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.”
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at email@example.com.More Jillian Rayfield.