Updated 4 p.m. ET — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign doubled down on its assertion about auto industry jobs moving to China with a new radio ad in northwest Ohio.
A Romney for president ad airing on Toledo, Ohio's classic rock station, WXKR, strongly insinuates that President Barack Obama's 2009 bailout of the auto industry has led to jobs shifting from the United States to China.
The narrator in the ad says:
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
is starting to build carsin, you guessed it, China. What happened to the promises made to autoworkers in Toledo and throughout Ohio? The same hard-working men and women who were told that Obama’s auto bailout would help them. Mitt Romney grew up in the auto industry. Maybe that’s why the Detroit News endorsed him saying ‘Romney understands the industry and will shield it from regulators who never tire of churning out new layers of mandates. Mitt Romney – he’ll stand up for the auto industry. In Ohio, not China.
The radio spot follows a TV controversial ad playing to fears that Chrysler had plans to move production of Jeeps from the U.S. to China. Romney and other Republicans had previously given voice to errant reports suggesting such a shift, though those original reports referred only to capacity for production of vehicles in China for sale in China.
The TV ad drew extensive coverage in the media for its suggestion that Jeep was moving jobs to China at the expense of positions in the United States. Toledo, a prime swing territory in the battleground state of Ohio, is home to a major Jeep production facility.
The radio spot goes a step further in stoking fears that U.S. production of Jeeps would be moved offshore to China.
As First Read wrote on Monday, this series of ads — running during the closing days of the campaign — mark an effort by Romney to re-frame his opposition to the auto industry bailout and defend himself from Obama's attacks on the issue.