Obama releases second auto bailout ad in Ohio, Michigan

The ad notes unusually forceful statements denying the implication that the auto industry is planning to build cars for the U.S. in China from the companies that received the bailout in 2008 and 2009, General Motors and Chrysler.

“GM calls Romney’s ads ‘politics at its cynical worst,' " the Obama commercial says. "And Chrysler’s CEO said it’s simply not true.”

The ad concludes with a narrator saying “We know the truth, Mitt,” before concluding with Romney saying, "Let Detroit go bankrupt," which is the title of an op-ed he wrote for The New York Times in 2008.

The Romney campaign has hit back hard on Democratic attacks on his bailout position. The GOP nominee's camp has argued that its ads about Jeep are factually accurate because the auto industry does intend to build cars in China. Both General Motors and Chrysler have pushed back with unusual force, however, arguing that the cars built overseas will be for foreign consumers.

Romney's campaign has shifted recently to a broader argument that auto loans were not as successful as the president has suggested, as polls show voters in Midwestern states like Ohio and Michigan largely support the loans.
"President Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy," Romney's vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanScalise released from hospital after planned surgery GOP sold Americans a bill of goods with tax reform law Impeaching Rosenstein? Some Republicans are talking about it MORE (R-Wis.), said during a rally in his home state on Wednesday.

"Taxpayers still stand to lose $25 billion from the president's politically managed bankruptcy," Ryan continued. "These companies — Chrysler in particular, we know this story — are now choosing to expand manufacturing overseas. These are the facts. Those facts are inconvenient for the president, but no one disputes them.”

The Obama campaign disputed the facts about Romney's auto bailout arguments at length in a conference call Thursday afternoon, however.

"This is not an ad of a winning campaign," Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said on the call. "He's not winning in Ohio and he's not winning in Michigan." 

Romney's campaign has attempt in recent days to broaden the campaign battleground to states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. The three states have gone for the Democratic presidential candidate in recent elections and Obama carried them easily in 2008, but Romney's camp believes they can be contested this year.

Obama's campaign dismisses the Romney talk about new battlegrounds as a bluff. His surrogates argue in particular that Michigan is unwinnable for Romney because of the auto bailout. 

"This is a desperate effort to turn the good news story of the bailout into a bad news story because he sees that as the only way he can carry states like Ohio and Michigan," Michigan Sen. Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (D) said on the Obama conference call.

"It's not going to work because our people know too much about this industry," Levin continued. "They know what the president did to help and what Mitt Romney did to bury it."