Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Jeep Ad

The Obama campaign is crying foul over a new Romney ad. The ad starts with a shot of a couple of cars being crushed while a voice-over says that President Obama sent GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to an Italian company. The ad then complains that the Jeep portion of Chrysler will be building Jeeps in China.

The complaint is not that anything in the ad is incorrect. Every word is factual. The complaint is that it gives the wrong impression. This is ironic.

"But Romney wanted to take GM and Chrysler through the same bankruptcy process that Obama used!" they cry. This is true but, after months of accusing Romney of wanting to break up GM and Chrysler, they don't have much room to complain. The Jeep ad may have omitted a fact but the ads that Obama has been running told outright falsehoods.

The part about producing Jeeps in China is a little more nuanced. These cars will be made in China to be sold in China. No American jobs will be lost. At the same time, no American jobs will be gained, either. Instead of making cars in the US for export, Jeep will be making them overseas.

The Obama campaign has no cause to complain here. What Jeep is doing is the exact thing that some of the companies Romney invested in have done - ramp up overseas production to service an overseas market. Team Obama has said that this amounts to shipping American jobs overseas so they cannot complain that it only counts when a Romney company does it.

The Jeep ad is not the most factual one aired this campaign but it is far from the worst. The Obama campaign cannot complain when Romney uses the same tactics that they have used.

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