Here’s a fun story for the four of you who are still looking for 2012 election season drama: The Romney campaign has asked the Washington Post fact-checkers to revise a Pinocchio over the late-campaign Jeep ad. The response? No.
Former Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens asked the Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler to revise his “Four Pinocchios” awarded to their camp for an ad that claimed that President Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.”
The controversial ad caused a minor uproar, with Ohio auto workers fearing that they were about to lose their jobs, reports The Huffington Post. The problem with the Romney camp claim is it over-blew and misappropriated fault over the generally true notion that Jeeps are going to China to score cheap political points.
Because Chrysler is indeed moving Jeep overseas, Stevens wants Kessler to revise his fact-check to redeem the Romney ad, writing:
“I would hope that you would take another look at this and stress test it for accuracy away from the heat of a campaign. I’ve been doing campaigns and writing about campaigns for some time and I believe that the ad and Romney’s statement were completely accurate, unusually so by any standards.”
“It seems that the crux of the argument revolves around the question of Chrysler (Fiat) moving production from the US to China. That question has been answered. They are moving production to China and other countries.”
Kessler’s response? Stuff it!
“That may be the standard for campaign ads, but not for reality. As long as those Chrysler workers are still making Jeeps in the United States — and especially when the company is adding even more US jobs, it is a real stretch to say the US jobs are moving overseas. When the Romney campaign fought back against claims of outsourcing during the election, in fact, it made exactly the same argument in a slide presentation leaked to Politico.”
Kessler, whether you approve of his fact-checking skills or not (he has received a lot of criticism from both sides for sticking to the facts), is technically correct in his response, since Chrysler is adding new jobs and Jeep production moving to China actually amounts to a return rather than new outsourcing.
Further, while Romney’s Jeep ad is also technically true, the blame for Chrysler’s Jeep relocation is on Chrysler’s shoulders, not President Obama’s. There are a lot of complexities that we won’t get into in this post, but such a decision is really out of Obama’s hands.
So we’re left to wonder why the Romney camp would ask for such a revision long after the former GOP candidate has lost the battle for the White House, and in light of the fact that he doesn’t plan on pursuing office ever again.
Unless of course Mitt is gearing for a 2016 run. Third time’s a charm, right?