Bloggers twist Jeep report, Romney bites
Romney: Led astray by a blog
A tiny news item picked up by the right-wing blogosphere got caught in the vortex of presidential politics last week, prompting Mitt Romney to tell a rally in Ohio that all U.S. Jeep production might be moved to China.
This would come as a surprise to Jeep.
"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," said the Republican candidate in Defiance, Ohio. "I will fight for every good job in America. I'm going to fight to make sure trade is fair, and if it's fair, America will win."
Romney apparently based his remarks on right-wing blogs that muddled a Bloomberg report that Chrysler plans to build Jeeps in China for sale in the local market. The confusion may have stemmed from Bloomberg's lead paragraph, which said Chrysler "plans to return Jeep output to China and may eventually assemble all Jeep models in the country."
But the story also said Jeep boss Mike Manley "referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China."
Blogging on Chrysler's media site, company spokesman Gualberto Ranieri called the Bloomberg story accurate, but said it "has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. work force. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.
"Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China."