GM: Gap between Romney ad and 'reality'

Oct. 30, 2012 at 6:52 PM
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DETROIT, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- A General Motors Co. spokesman said a Romney campaign ad in Ohio shows there are "Hubble telescope-length distances between campaign ads and reality."

The ad implies GM used funds from the automobile industry bailout to hire more workers in China than in the United States, the Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday.

"Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry," the ad's narration says. "But for who? Ohio or China? Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China. And now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in, you guessed it, China."

GM spokesman Greg Martin said, "At this stage, we're looking at Hubble telescope-length distances between campaign ads and reality. GM's creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country should be a source of bipartisan pride," GM spokesman Greg Martin said.

Martin "we've clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days and "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," the Free Press reported.

The ad also drew fire from Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, whose company last week said Romney was wrong when he told a campaign rally in Ohio Chrysler was "thinking of moving all production to China."

Romney was evidently alluding to comments on conservative blogs in reaction to a news report that Chrysler, owned by Fiat SpA, is considering building and marketing Jeeps in China, the Detroit News reported. Company spokesman Gualberto Ranieri said at the time Chrysler "has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China," and is "reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world's largest auto market," but U.S. Jeep assembly lines will remain in operation.

Marchionne, in an email to employees Tuesday, stressed Jeep production "will not be moved from the United States to China."

"Jeep is one of our truly global brands with uniquely American roots," Marchionne said. "This will never change."

He said Jeep assembly lines "will remain in operation in the United States and will constitute the backbone of the brand. It is inaccurate to suggest anything different."

Marchionne's email was sent one day after the Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker reported third-quarter net income was up 80 percent to $381 million, and revenues were up 18 percent to $15.5 billion from the same period in 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A Romney campaign spokeswoman, asked for a response to challenges against the ad, told the Detroit News the Obama campaign "is less concerned with engaging in a meaningful conversation about his failed policies and more concerned with arguing against facts about their record they dislike."

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