Romney ad takes aim at Obama over Chrysler
Romney blames Obama for selling Chrysler to Fiat, which plans to make Jeeps in China. Chrysler counters, saying it’s expanding in U.S. too.
The auto bailout just won't go away -- from the campaign trail at least. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's team is out with a commercial in Ohio saying he would do a better job handling the American auto industry than President Obama.
What's unusual is that the ad calls out a specific company: Chrysler. The key line says, “Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to the Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.”
Well, yes, Chrysler is majority-owned by Fiat. And yes it’s hoping to resume Jeep production in China, but not at the expense of U.S. workers, as the ad implies. Just a few years after bailout and bankruptcy, Chrysler is adding production in the U.S. as well, and last quarter, Chrysler's profit rose 80 percent.
Paul Ingrassia, deputy editor-in-chief at Reuters, says the Romney ad is simplistic: “Chrysler is a global company and they should build cars where it makes the most sense and they can make profits,” he says.
Last year, Chrysler paid back its government loans, and a health care trust for autoworkers still owns a big chunk of the company. So, Ingrassia says profits made anywhere in the world "will go to fund health benefits for retired UAW members.”
A Chrysler spokesman says he was "surprised" when he saw the Romney ad.