Kessler criticized the Romney ad for repeating a claim from a Bloomberg News report last week that Italian automaker Fiat is considering producing Jeeps in China. The automaker has said it is thinking about building cars for Chinese customers, not relocating American production, but the Romney ad says, “Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.”
The Romney campaign has defended the ad, maintaining that the commercial does not explicitly say the company is moving U.S. Jeep production overseas.
“It appears the Obama campaign is less concerned with engaging in a meaningful conversation about the president’s failed policies and more concerned with arguing against facts about their record they dislike,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in an email to The Hill on Monday. “The American people will see their desperate arguments for what they are.”
However, Kessler said that the disputed claim about Jeep production is only “tweaked slightly to make it more accurate” by the Romney ad.
“The ad also comes on the heels of Mitt Romney’s mistaken claim in a speech last week that Chrysler was moving Jeep production to China — a statement immediately denied by the auto manufacturer,” Kessler wrote. “Yet the story apparently was too good for Romney to give up.”
Kessler has weighed in on campaign controversies before. He previously drew criticism from supporters of President Obama for labeling some of the president’s attacks on Romney’s business background at Bain Capital untrue.
This time, however, it is Romney he is tweaking for untruthfulness in the campaign.
“The series of statements in the ad individually may be technically correct, but the overall message of the ad is clearly misleading — especially since it appears to have been designed to piggyback off of Romney’s gross misstatement that Chrysler was moving Ohio factory jobs to China,” Kessler wrote.