General Motors would love to keep out of the political limelight during the presidential race, and even announced last week that it wouldn't allow candidates to campaign in its plants.
But lying low politically isn't easy. Indeed, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan put GM front and center in his acceptance speech at the party's convention last week, with a dubious contention that both campaigns could use to fit their purposes.
Ryan referred to the closing of the GM plant in his hometown, Janesville, Wis., and appeared to blame it on Obama's economic stewardship. "My home state voted for President Obama," he said. "When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.
"A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you ... this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day."
The clear implication was that the decision to close the plant came during the Obama presidency and because of the policies of his administration. But, Democratic fact-checkers might point out, candidate Obama spoke at the plant in February 2008, and GM shut down 98 percent of production there, of the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and GMC Yukon, in December of that year -- a month before Obama took office.
GOP partisans might counter that the flat-out closing technically did come during the Obama era, because GM did keep on about 100 workers for four more months to complete an order of medium-duty trucks for Isuzu.
After that-- as a GM spokesman said in December 2008 would happen -- the plant was closed for good.