Mitt Romney Gets Desperate in Ohio

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Last Thursday, Mitt Romney told a group of Ohio autoworkers that Chrysler was planning to move Jeep production to China. Chrysler very quickly explained the real story: they’re thinking about opening new plants in China to sell Jeeps into the Chinese market. No American plants are going to be shuttered.

But the Romney campaign decided none of this mattered. They want to win Ohio, so they’re running ads that say this:

Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy, and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.

Technically, every word of this is true. Obama did force GM and Chrysler through a managed bankruptcy. Fiat did end up buying Chrysler. And Chrysler is thinking about building Jeeps in China. But remember my three-part test to judge how deceptive a statement is?

  1. What was the speaker trying to imply?
  2. What would it take to state things accurately?
  3. How much would accuracy damage the speaker’s point?

On this scale, Romney’s ad rates about 9 out of 10 on the deceptiveness scale. He’s obviously trying to imply that American jobs will be shipped overseas; stating things accurately would require wholesale revisions; and doing so would completely destroy Romney’s point. But he doesn’t care. He’s got an election to win, and if scaring Ohio autoworkers is what it takes, then that’s what it takes. It’s truly nauseating.

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And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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