By Keith Laing - 01/28/13 03:09 PM EST
“At the time of this ad — and today — all Jeeps sold in China are made in the U.S. Yes, with the current tariff laws in effect. Chrysler is making the decision to stop production for the Asian market in the U.S. and shift that production to China. By any reasonable standard, that is moving jobs to China.”
However, Kessler noted, as Chrysler did at the time of Romney's commercial airing, that it is building cars in China for Chinese customers. The company vehemently refuted suggestions it was outsourcing American jobs, arguing that it was adding more than 1,000 jobs to Ohio to build cars for the American market.
Kessler again sided with Chrysler.
"So this is the very thin reed upon which Romney’s defenders have hung their argument: Chrysler may not be moving U.S. jobs to China, but Jeeps now made in the United States and sold in China, such as the compact Jeep Patriot, will now be made in China," he wrote.
"But by any reasonable reading, this is an expansion of existing production because currently an imported Jeep Patriot is not really economically viable in China," he wrote. "Meanwhile, Chrysler has recently added jobs at the Belvidere, Ill., plant where Patriots are produced, in order to service the existing North American market."
Romney was widely criticized for the Jeep ad at the time of its airing, with some critics attributing Romney's loss in the critical swing state Ohio to the strong pushback against the commercial from the U.S. car companies. At the time of the commercial's airing, polls showed the former Massachusetts governor trailing President Obama in Ohio, and he went on to lose the state and the general election.
Kessler said he was reaffirming his ruling for "four Pinocchios" for the Jeep ad because in addition to the disputed outsourcing claim, "the ad has other serious problems."
Among them, he said, was "mischaracterizing the PolitiFact column, ignoring the context of the Detroit News endorsement and miscasting Obama’s role in the sale to Fiat."
The Romney Jeep ad was also labeled the "Lie of the Year" by the PolitiFact.com website.
The ad can be watched in its entirety below: