Springfield UAW workers denounced Wednesday Gov. Mitt Romney’s recent campaign ads as lies designed to scare Ohio’s autoworkers into believing their jobs might be outsourced to China.
But the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign dismissed a news conference held by the union Wednesday as hollow criticism.
A radio ad released recently in the Springfield-Dayton market misleads Ohioans to believe that Chrysler and GM could be moving production to China, UAW Local 402 President Jason Barlow said at the news conference. The union represents Navistar International Corp. assembly and modification workers at its Springfield plant and Navistar’s Springfield-based paint supplier AKZO-Nobel Coatings.
“Folks, this is the worst kind of campaigning and this is a politician that will literally do or say anything to get elected, even telling blatant lies to the people of Dayton and Springfield area into fear of losing their jobs,” Barlow said.
Romney’s Ohio campaign office said the event “proves that the president’s allies are incapable of engaging in a meaningful conversation about the Obama administration’s failed record during the last week of the campaign.”
Last week, the Romney campaign said in a Northwest Ohio ad that Jeep is shifting its U.S. production to China and, over the weekend, put up similar ads in Toledo and Youngstown.
“While under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs. But they’re 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 in, you guessed it, China,” the radio ad said.
Both Chrysler and General Motors have rebuked the ads’ claims.
“The criticism rings hollow because Democrats have routinely chastised the Obama Administration on their failure to stand up to China,” Romney for President spokesman Christopher Maloney said.
“Despite baseless assertions of President Obama’s allies, the ad is factual. At a time in which our economy is struggling, we should be working to bolster domestic manufacturing, job creation and exports as opposed to those of our foreign competitors,” Maloney said.
Barlow said the Romney campaign has instead done “clever word shifting” and that fact checkers have dismissed the intent of the ad as dishonest.
“The people of Ohio know better and they won’t tolerate this. This is blatant dishonesty,” Barlow said. “Mr. Romney, if you don’t stand with America’s auto workers, then you do not stand for the middle class.”
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