Mitt, 2005: Media Should Check Ads for Accuracy

The Romney campaign, demonstrating its bottomless mendacity, is running radio and TV ads in Ohio insinuating that the real beneficiaries of President Obama’s auto industry bailout are workers in China:

“Barack Obama says he saved the auto industry. 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.”

Even after Chrysler’s CEO publicly repudiated the ads and a GM spokesperson referred to them as “campaign politics at its cynical worst,” the Romney campaign is still airing them. (Which raises the excellent point made by Twitter’s “Pourmecoffee”— “If in the course of seeking auto worker votes you manage to get GM to call you out for lying, maybe you aren’t ready to lead the free world.”)

Back when he was our Governor, Mitt Romney was a stickler for truth in advertising. Like the time in 2005 when he proposed legislation that would allow auto insurers to consider extraneous factors (like whether a driver was married, owned a home, or had a college degree) in determining car insurance rates. When opponents of his plan purchased television ads urging the driving and voting public to say no (the catchline was “Reject Governor Romney’s assigned risk plan before he rejects you”), our Governor had his lawyer send a huffy letter to television stations requesting that they “decline to air certain television commercials that contain either deliberately misleading or demonstrably false statements about Governor Romney and his automobile insurance proposal.” Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom, perhaps aware of seeming a little touchy on the subject, said that the Governor was merely asking TV stations to check the accuracy of the ads they run.

Maybe the TV and radio stations in Ohio and elsewhere will continue to take Mr. Fehrnstrom’s excellent advice.

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