Mitt Romney's campaign ad claiming President Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" — implying Ohio jobs were being shipped overseas — has been awarded PolitiFact's annual "Lie of the Year." (In a hilarious twist, the controversial fact-checking group is mentioned in the commercial.) The Romney aad even prompted some Jeep workers to call their union reps to ask if their jobs were in danger. But PolitiFact's Angie Drobnic Holan writes — with a slight hint of satisfaction — that for once, there were consequences for this political lie. "People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election," she writes. The ad even prompted General Motors' spokesman to say, "We've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days… No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country."
PolitiFact points to something The Atlantic Wire noticed throughout Romney's campaign: he kept getting in trouble for picking up memes from conservative blogs, the 47 percent being the most damaging. PolitiFact (with "pants on fire" GIF at left) says:
It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign -- that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep's parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.
Here's the offending ad:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.