Obama ad pushes back on Romney jobs claim in Ohio

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — TITLE: "Collapse."

LENGTH: 30 Seconds

AIRING: Ohio

KEY IMAGES: The ad opens with a still photo of a shuttered factory and pans to a headline from a New York Times column Mitt Romney wrote in 2008, headlined, "Let Detroit go Bankrupt."

A male narrator says, "when the auto industry faced collapse, Mitt Romney turned his back." The narrator notes that The Detroit News (which has endorsed Romney's presidential bid) criticized the Republican hopeful's "wrongheadedness" on the federal auto bailout.

"And now, after Romney's false claim of Jeep outsourcing to China, Chrysler itself has refuted Romney's lie," the narrator says, over a headline from the Detroit Free Press saying Romney had incorrectly stated Jeep was moving production to China.

"The truth? Jeep is adding jobs in Ohio," the narrator says, over a headline from the Toledo Blade newspaper in Ohio saying "Jeep expansion to add 1,100 jobs." The ad concludes, "Mitt Romney on Ohio jobs: Wrong then. Dishonest now."

ANALYSIS: The Obama campaign released this ad in response to a Romney campaign spot airing in Ohio that suggests Romney would do more for the auto industry than Obama has. Polls show Obama with a narrow but steady edge in Ohio, a state Romney badly needs if he is to put together the 270 electoral votes necessary for victory on Election Day, Nov. 6.

Obama's lead in Ohio is due in large measure to the success of the federal bailout of GM and Chrysler, which helped preserve thousands of auto industry jobs there and elsewhere. That's why his campaign is acutely sensitive to efforts by the Romney campaign to undermine the positive effects of the bailout, which Romney opposed.

It's true that Romney wrote an opinion column in The New York Times opposing the auto rescue. He has said he didn't choose the headline, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," but has never veered from his assertion that providing failing auto companies with billions in federal aid would prevent them from taking the steps necessary to rein in costs and be more competitive.

In Ohio last week, Romney told a campaign audience that Chrysler planned to ship its U.S.-based Jeep manufacturing division to China. A Chrysler spokesman denied that claim, saying Jeep had no plans to move jobs from the U.S. to China even though the company is looking to build additional plants there to meet demand.

The new Romney ad is more carefully worded, saying only that the company planned to "build jeeps in China," which is true. But the Obama ad tries to put to rest any suggestion in the latest Romney ad that Ohio jobs at Jeep are threatened, posting the headline of a local newspaper story saying Jeep planned to build a new plant and add jobs in Ohio next year.

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