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 Could Face 20 Years Behind Bars for ‘Serious Felonies’ at Mar-a-Lago: Legal Analyst
A legal analyst for ABC News pointed out that former President Donald Trump is potentially facing 20 years in prison for “serious felonies” after the search of his Mar-a-Lago home.
Dan Abrams told ABC host Jonathan Karl that the Department of Justice could indict Trump for multiple crimes after finding classified documents during the search.
“They’re very serious,” Abrams said of the charges. “And the one that’s being talked about most is this espionage act because it has the word espionage in it. But the truth is that when it comes to potential criminal sentences, the obstruction of justice statute is the one with the most potential prison time.”
“There you’re talking about up to 20 years behind bars,” he added. “So these are not sort of minor crimes we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the potential for serious felonies with regard to all three of the crimes being investigated.”
But Abrams threw cold water on the idea that a Trump prosecution would be easy.
“The fundamental question is going to be intentionality,” he opined. “How much do they believe that they did this on purpose? Were they intentionally ignoring subpoenas? Were they literally destroying documents?”
Watch the video below from ABC.
.@danabrams breaks down what unsealed search warrant papers for former Pres. Trump’s estate suggest about federal investigation.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 14, 2022
New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search
Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.
A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.
According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”
Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”
However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”
“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”
Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”
Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook
Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama
Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.
“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.
“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”
Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.
“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”
Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.
None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.
“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”
That is also false.
The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.
“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.
“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.
“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”
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