Mitt Romney earned the “Lie of the Year” award from fact-checkers Politifact for his repeated “brazenly false” lie that Jeep was moving production to China. Romney told the lie on hi campaign stump, forcing Jeep’s parent Chrysler to respond publicly several times, labeling his lies as â€œextravagant comments,â€ and â€œunnecessary fantasies,â€ and forcing the Obama campaign to release an ad refuting the Romney lie.
It should be noted that Romney’s lie injected fear into thousands of auto workers, fearing they would lose their jobs. Not a good way to get votes, and a horribly mean attempt to do so.
“Bloomberg reported on Oct. 22 that the company was planning to restart production of Jeeps in China. The entirety of the Bloomberg report made it clear that Chrysler was considering expansion in China, not shuttering American production,” Politifact reports:
But one conservative news outlet seized on the reportâ€™s opening lines. TheÂ Washington Examinerâ€™s Paul BedardÂ bloggedÂ on Oct. 25 about the Bloomberg story and incorrectly wrote that Jeep was “considering giving up on the United States and shifting production to China,” a move that would “crash the economy in towns like Toledo, Ohio â€¦ .” The conservative Drudge Report then linked to Bedardâ€™s post under theÂ headline, “Jeep eyes shifting production to China.”
Within hours, Chrysler spokesman Gualberto RanieriÂ respondedÂ on Chryslerâ€™s company blog.
“Letâ€™s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China,” Ranieri wrote, adding, “A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.”
But later that night at aÂ campaign stopÂ in Defiance, Ohio, Romney added a new line to his stump speech:
“I saw a story today, that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China,” he said, to boos from the audience. “I will fight for every good job in America. Iâ€™m going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if itâ€™s fair, America will win.”
Reporters mentioned the mistake in their stories the next day, it lit up the Internet, and the liberal cable channel MSNBC attacked Romney for not knowing the facts.
“His lie is embarrassing, frankly, and it should be unsettling for the rest of the world,” said MSNBCâ€™sÂ Rachel Maddow. “Imagine Romney waking up in the Lincoln bedroom or whatever, checking his conservative Twitter feed and running with whatever he finds there.”
Romneyâ€™s campaign didnâ€™t retreat, though. It doubled down withÂ a TV adÂ for Ohio voters that weekend:
“Who will do more for the auto industry? Not Barack Obama,” the ad began, adding, “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.” A similarÂ radio adÂ soon followed.
That in turn prompted another unqualified denial, this time from Chrysler Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne,Â who saidÂ 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.”
PolitiFact and other fact-checkers weighed in and said the ad was inaccurate. PolitiFact rated itÂ Pants on FireÂ because it “strings together facts in a way that presents an wholly inaccurate picture.”
Factcheck.orgÂ said Romneyâ€™s speech was “flat wrong” and the ad was misleading. TheÂ Washington Postâ€™s Fact Checker gave the adÂ four Pinocchios, saying, “This ad shows that we have entered the final, desperate week of the campaign.”
When pinned down with questions on the ad, the Romney team either dodged or defended the ad as literally accurate. Stuart Stevens, a senior adviser to Romney, told theÂ New York Times, “It would be better if they expanded production in the U.S. instead of expanding in China.” The automakers said that ignored common global trade practices.
There was no give from Romney. Maybe that wasn’t surprising.
At the Republican National Convention in Tampa, journalists had challenged the Romney campaign team about an ad that falsely claimed Obama was ending work requirements for welfare. Romney pollster Neil NewhouseÂ respondedÂ by saying, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
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Trump DOJ Investigation Statement Contains Two Key Revelations: Former FBI Official
Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok explained two key revelations in an exclusive CNN interview with Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
“Major news this morning in a story that CNN broke overnight,” CNN’s John Berman reported. “For the first time, the Department of Justice is publicly acknowledging that it is looking into a specific aspect of the plot from high-level Donald Trump allies to overturn the 2020 election.”
“We learned that federal prosecutors are reviewing the fake electoral college certifications from 2020 that falsely declared former President Trump the winner of seven states, states that he lost,” he explained.
“The fake electoral certifications were signed by Trump allies, who falsely claimed to be the rightful electors in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin.”
For analysis, Berman and co-host Brianna Keilar interviewed Strzok.
Berman noted Monacco’s “carefully chosen words.”
“How do you read it?” Berman asked.
“Well, absolutely. You know, in my experience, any time the Department of Justice or FBI makes a comment on an ongoing investigation, particularly at a high level, those words are very carefully chosen and they’re very closely scrutinized,” Strzok replied. “Certainly, when you hear them coming from the deputy attorney general herself, I have no doubt that the intention and the plan to do that was probably — went up to the attorney general and certainly the office of the attorney general.”
“And it’s important when you’re looking at a statement like that to read it very carefully and there are two things I see in there.” he explained. “One, prosecutors are looking at it. What that means to me is they are examining the allegations, they’re looking at federal law, they’re seeing what the elements of the particular crimes that might be involved are and are looking where the evidence falls and doesn’t fall.”
“And the second thing, the last point is she says she can’t comment anymore on ongoing investigations. That means exactly what it says, that means right now there are investigations — plural — that are open and ongoing within the Department of Justice about this matter,” he explained. “So that’s a very significant event and to me it indicates just how high the level of investigation is now going within DOJ.”
Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist
U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.
But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.
A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”
Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.
The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”
Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.
“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”
Read the entire Times report here.
Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’
Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”
Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”
“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”
Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”
This will kill kids, @RonDeSantisFL. You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ kids to survive in. In a national survey (@TrevorProject), 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year. Now they can’t talk to their teachers? https://t.co/VtfFLPlsn3
— Chasten Buttigieg (@Chasten) January 20, 2022
The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”
Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”
JUST NOW: “”What kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet and saying we can’t talk about you? … [Kids] take that trauma to heart.”@Chasten on what is being called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in FL.pic.twitter.com/M1Qiz9Zt9f
— John Berman (@JohnBerman) January 25, 2022
Image by Pete for America via Flickr
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