When I heard that portion of the ad put out by the Romney team, I truly thought I was going to wet my pants from laughing so hard. Who was Romney going announce next as his ally… Daddy Warbucks? Come on, now… Lee Iacocca??? I haven’t heard that name in the news for several years now. That is a name associated with the era. Come ON Mittens. Iacocca is so passé. At least pick some swag from this decade.
(Before I go any further I have to state my disclaimer: Lee Iacocca is NOT dead. He is now 88.)
What it comes down to is name-dropping. And we all know how much Romney likes to throw around his ties to the insanely wealthy (I have a neighbor boy who owns two NASCAR remote control cars… does that count?) Iacocca is a former CEO of Chrysler who retired in 1992, and thanks to Bush nearly lost his pension in 2009 from the collapse. And let’s not forget, Romney wants to implement much of the same policies that helped our economy collapse to begin with. If you reach through the fence and get bit by the neighbors dog, don’t reach through again.
Earlier this year, Lee stated his support for Romney. Therefore it is perfectly natural for Romney to beg the former CEO of Chrysler to support him in his big anti-Obama ad. What would be more impressive is to have the current CEO, or major shareholder, Fiat, to profess their support for Romney, especially in his attempt to steal the credit for the auto industry bailout from Obama.
Now, about Romney’s new
lie ad lie-ad…. The article Romney is referencing is this one by Bloomberg talking about Chrysler – and no where does it state that they are MOVING U.S. jobs to China. Romney purely intended to do whatever he could in attempting to win Ohio. He didn’t take into account that other people in his story do not want their facts, or companies, twisted and involved with Romney’s lies.
The ad also states that Obama sold Chrysler to the Italians. Obama nor our government has never owned Chrysler. Politifact provides a very good brief timeline of what happened between Chrysler and Obama. Basically, right before Lame Duck Bush left office, he signed billions of dollars of loans to crumbling companies. One being Chrysler. The owners had been trying to sell to Italy-based Fiat before Obama took office. There were no U.S. companies that wanted to take on Chrysler. Our government, understandably, wanted our tax payer’s money back. Fiat took a gamble – and it worked. I’m sure the employees who had been laid off prior to Fiat coming in were very happy to be re-hired after Fiat took over. At the time, the auto industry and Chrysler were in such bad shape, that it wasn’t a sale at all in the conventional sense:
“Fiat paid nothing for Chrysler,” Aaron Bragman, a senior analyst with IHS Automotive, a financial research group, said, “they [Fiat] poured MASSIVE resources into the company, such as design help, executive staff and personnel, joint development, engine technology, all sorts of non-cash things that helped Chrysler recover considerably.” From PolitiFact.
**POST PUBLISHING NOTE** I stand corrected – slightly – about not owning Chrysler. In an August 2012 Forbes article, it states, “Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company.” Technically, that is not owning Chrysler, but rather GM. Close enough.
Next, to clear the air about Chrysler, Fiat and China…. Chrysler used to have production in China during their glory days. Now that they have bounced back, Chrysler is considering re-opening manufacturing back up in China… an opportunity to sell cars made in China to Chinese consumers. Economics as well as Chinese rules make it essential for an automaker who wants to sell cars in China to build them there. There are no plans of shutting down and moving U.S. jobs overseas. Sounds like the road to prosperity. It is when people like Romney shut down U.S. jobs and move them overseas. For some reason, Romney seems to get these two items confused. And what is the deal between Romney and China? He has China number one on his “hit list.” After all, he has investments in several companies in China. Romney appears to be using China as a fear tactic – similar to how our country became so paranoid about Russia during the Cold War. I am not buying into it. In fact, I would actually like to know a bit more about China. Their country was economically a disaster not too long ago. Then in a short amount of time, they are now a powerhouse to the global economy. What did they do over there? Besides slave labor and Wal-Mart, that is….
To wrap this up, here is what Lee Iacocca told the Wall Street Journal on January 21, 2009, about Obama’s inauguration speech:
“President Obama got it right in his inauguration speech.
“He did the one thing I believe is the most important: He asked everyone to join the team in service to the country. He is smart enough to know that the presidency is not a one-man show. It’s a team effort, and in this case, the team is millions strong.
“A true leader has the humility to understand that when he’s at the top, he’s standing on the shoulders of the people. We all have our work cut out for us.”
That, my dear friends, is NOT Romney.
Related Articles and References:
Politifact: Mitt Romney says Obama’s Chrysler deal undermined U.S. workers
Bloomberg: Fiat Says Jeep Output May Return to China as Demand Rises
CBS News: Chrysler CEO: Jeep not moving to China
Washington Post, The Fact Checker: 4 Pinocchios for Mitt Romney’s misleading ad on Chrysler and China
Lee Iacocca’s website
humanevents.com Lee Iacocca endorses Romney for president
wnyc.org Auto Legend Iacocca Backs Romney In Ohio Car Wars