Clinton: Romney Knowingly Lied About Auto Industry Jobs

While campaigning in St. Cloud, Minnesota, two days before the 2012 election, former President Bill Clinton tore into Republican candidate Mitt Romney for knowingly lying about jobs in the automobile industry, both on the campaign trail and in his advertisements targeting swing voters in Ohio.

“Mitt Romney says the president is working with the Italians to move jobs to China,” Clinton said about Romney’s assertion that Chrysler, which is majority owned by Fiat, is creating jobs for Chinese suppliers. “There’s this vast and dark conspiracy. I guess next week he’ll come after the Irish and then I’ll be in trouble.”

“He tried to convince everybody that he wasn’t against the General Motors bailout, except that he was,” Clinton continued. “He tied himself in so many knots, I think he was offered the job of chief contortionist for the Cirque du Soleil. Finally he gave that up and he said, ‘President Obama is helping Jeep move jobs (out of Ohio and) to China’. I took that personally, because as president, our White House actually worked with Ohio to bring that Jeep plant to Toledo.”

“The problem with a lot of Governor Romney’s charges are that someone knows a lot about them. Jeep said (the charges were) not true — (Romney) keeps repeating it. Chrysler, which owns Jeep, says it’s not true — he keeps repeating it. Then General Motors says it’s not true — and a he puts up a television ad saying the same thing after he’s been told by the leaders of the American automobile industry — not the President, but the leaders of the car industry. He knows it’s not true, and he makes an ad anyway.”

“He thinks we’re all dumb, and people are scared about losing their jobs, and they got a lot more money to spend than we do because of Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers and all their secret Super PACS.”

“When I was a kid, if I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar, I turned red in the face and took my hand out of the cookie jar,” Clinton offered. “Gov. Romney got caught with his hand in the cookie jar on this Jeep deal. So what did he do? He just grabbed for more cookies. You cannot afford to have a President of the United States who will look you dead in the eye, in the face of certain evidence to the contrary and tell you something he knows is not true to try to get an advantage for 48 hours until this election is over.”

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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