“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney Attacks GM in Final Days of Election; GM Defends Record From Romney Lies, Calls Them ‘Fantasy’

Before we get into the new morass of mud and muck dredged up by the Romney campaign and slung at the US auto industry, it’s important to establish a few facts. This effort is useful as the Romney campaign, with its almost daily distortions and flip-flops, has been the most fact-free bid for the Presidency of any election cycle in modern memory. Romney’s most recent smear campaign, waged against the US auto industry and, by extension, American workers, is just the newest in a daily stream of distortions, gimmicks, smears, and attempts to terrorize the US electorate.

First, in an op-ed to the New York Times entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Mitt Romney, in his opening sentence, stated:

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.

Coming into office and facing the worst economic decline since the Great Depression left behind by the Bush Administration, President Obama decided to act to save over 2 million American jobs by directly supporting the auto industry bailout. Though far less expensive than the TARP program to bail out the US financial sector, the auto bailout provided much more direct support to the US middle class by ensuring that auto industry and supply chain jobs were not lost and that key US industries did not collapse. Conservatives of every stripe immediately howled that such government intervention would result in an US auto industry ‘doomsday.’ And Mitt Romney added his voice to those claiming US automakers would fail if they accepted government assistance during the worst of times.

As the years passed, Mitt Romney and conservatives have been proven drastically wrong. The US auto industry has recovered. GM is again the number 1 seller of automobiles in the world. And the industry is in the process of adding US jobs and repatriating jobs from overseas. This dramatic success belies republican and Romney drama to the contrary. It shows that the leadership role Obama took to save the US auto industry is now beginning to pay off. And, most glaringly, it shows the deep, systemic, failure of the current, rigid republican economic ideology.

Meanwhile, the corporation Romney built — Bain Capital — is now preparing to dismantle a factory that manufactures sensors for the auto industry in Freeport Illinois and ship their jobs overseas. Nearly 200 workers at the Sensata factory which Bain bought-out will find their jobs outsourced to China before the end of this year. This is a result of the outsourcing and off-shoring legacy that Romney pioneered while head of Bain Capital. (See more about Sensata here.)

This dual narrative of Obama’s leadership and success combined with Romney still profiting from liquidating US factories and sending the jobs overseas has had devastating effect for Romney in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan who know all too well how damaging outsourcing and off-shoring have been to their economies. Loss of critical factories like the one at Sensata has resulted in the gutting of entire communities. Whole neighborhoods in Detroit are now ghost towns as a result of the kind of outsourcing Mitt Romney pioneered at Bain Capital. Some of these lost jobs may never come back, captured by 99 cent an hour Chinese workers and a country that is unwilling to establish laws to protect its own people from the abuses of vulture capitalists like Romney. China may as well have foisted a sign emblazoned ‘Robber Barons R’ Us.’ And, Romney, among many others, came flocking to exploit the slave wage labor there by dismantling US factories and sending them overseas.

Perhaps too late, Romney has realized how damaging these methods of employing equities firms and off-shoring practices to accumulate personal profit have become. But the realization appears to have now stuck with a vengeance. And, in typical Romney fashion, Romney is now waging a media campaign against the very business Obama was so successful in saving and that, since late 2009, has directly added thousands of US jobs.

The Romney campaign is now running a malicious and false advertisement claiming that Jeep plans to ship US jobs overseas to China. The ad comes as Jeep revealed plans to build two manufacturing plants in China over the coming years. But, contrary to Romney’s false assertion, Jeep’s China expansion is not coming at the cost of any US manufacturing. Unlike Romney’s Sensata, no Jeep facilities are being shut down. No workers are being forced to train their Chinese replacements, as Romney’s Bain is forcing Sensata workers to do so. In fact, Jeep and GM have pledged to take profits from the Chinese operation and use it to create more jobs in the US. It’s almost the exact reverse of the Romney model. Call it in-sourcing, or re-sourcing, or repatriating, or even re-shoring. But it’s definitely not the Romney/Bain model for outsourcing and off-shoring.

Since late 2009, Jeep alone has added over 4600 US jobs, showing, in fact, that Romney’s claims are patently false.

GM was quick to defend its record from Romney’s false attacks:

“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”

Crysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in an email to employees refuted Romney’s claims by simply laying out the facts:

“Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne stated in the e-mail. “The numbers tell the story,” followed by specific investments Chrysler has made in Detroit, Toledo and Belvidere, Ill. “Those include more than $1.7 billion to produce the successor of the Jeep Liberty and hire about 1,100 workers on a second shift by 2013.”

The additional 1100 jobs are on top of the 4600 jobs Jeep has already added. In contrast, Romney’s Bain will, in the next couple months, send another 200 jobs to China. So the contrast couldn’t be more stark.

And the media is starting to pick up on Romney’s egregious assault of lies against the US auto industry and US workers. The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently called the Romney advertisements attacking the auto industry ‘economic terrorism.’¬†The Detroit Free Press has published this in-depth piece exposing Romney’s false claims. The conservative-leaning US News and World Report¬†posted an analysis showing how the US auto expansion in China was helping to support jobs expansion at home. And FactCheck.org labeled Romney’s recent advertising blitz “flat wrong” stating:

“It’s misleading to suggest that Chrysler’s decision to expand into China will cost U.S. jobs — especially after the company has said it would have no impact on its U.S. operations.”

The fact-checking website noted a report from Bloomberg that Chrysler was considering “adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.” Meanwhile Chrysler, in a dramatic refutation of Romney’s doomsday prediction for the US auto industry, just reported a third quarter profit of $381 million, up 80 percent from a year ago.

It seems likely that the Romney misinformation machine may have just bitten off more than it can chew. Considering the wide-ranging backlash taking shape from both the US auto industry and the broader media, it appears that Romney’s false attacks against GM and Jeep are about to erupt in his face. The US auto industry is firmly on its path to recovery, with each new report showing positive results. Further, the US auto industry is in the process of adding thousands of jobs here in America. Both of these points prove Romney dramatically wrong. Wrong in his ‘Let Detroit go Bankrupt’ op-ed and wrong now. Finally, these attacks only serve to call attention to Romney’s own record of sending US jobs overseas, the most recent example of which is Sensata.

Links:

http://www.freep.com/article/20121031/NEWS15/310310091/GM-and-Chrysler-Romney-is-wrong

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2012/10/31/gm-on-romney-campaign-politics-at-its-cynical-worst/

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/10/31/memo-to-mitt-romney-gms-success-in-china-is-good-for-america

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-34222_162-57542993/gm-like-chrysler-refutes-romneys-auto-industry-ad/

http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/10/gm-aide-romney-ads-part-of-parallel-universe-147753.html

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/10/30/GM-Gap-between-Romney-ad-and-reality/UPI-56761351637557/

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Betrayed Workers, Sensata, and Taking Down The American Flag: Mitt Romney’s Legacy of Shipping US Jobs to China

On November 5th, Bain Capital, the Company Mitt Romney founded, will ship 170 US jobs to China. On November 6th, Mitt Romney will ask to be your President.

Sensata technologies manufactured sensors for US automobiles, ships, electronics, appliances and aircraft. It was an inheritor of the intellectual capital of Honeywell, a set of knowledge and trade secrets that was a pivotal component of the US defense industry and critical to US national security. They served a broad range of customers from GM to the US military. The company helped to support a vital economy in Freeport Illinois. That was all before Bain Capital got a 51% stake in Sensata and began doing the terrible work of sending the company, its intellectual property and, most importantly, its jobs to China.

The first phase of this transfer of US jobs, intellectual and economic capital to China involved training Chinese workers and a transfer of the trade secrets of a US company to Chinese shores. Sensata employees were forced by Bain to train Chinese workers at the American facility. And when Chinese workers came, the company Mitt Romney founded forced Sensata to lower the American flag. So, for a time, American workers labored under a de-flagged US company to hand over jobs and US trade secrets related to national security to the Chinese even as this activity created big profits for Bain company executives and major share holders.

It is important to note that the loss of these jobs from US shores doesn’t help the impoverished Chinese workers who are forced by China and by companies like Bain to work in terrible sweat-shop conditions at low wages and at little hope for economic advancement. So what Bain’s transfer of Sensata jobs to China represents is the favoring of building slave wage overseas jobs in pursuit of short-term profits over US middle class jobs, building the American dream, and long-term prosperity at home.

The second phase of Bain’s activity at Sensata will wrap up on November 5th, the day before the US Presidential election, when Sensata’s 170 workers are fired and the transfer of US jobs from this vital US industry to China is complete.

More than anything else, this is Mitt Romney’s legacy. He founded Bain Capital. He pioneered its outsourcing and shipping US jobs overseas for profit practices in the 1980s and 1990s. He developed that model for liquidating US jobs and replacing them with low-wage work overseas which so many of the greedy in this country have used for their own enrichment. So, sadly, Sensata is but the most recent of scores and scores of US companies whose jobs were sent to China as Bain profited. And today, as a major share-holder of Bain Capital, holding more than 8 million dollars in company stocks, Romney still profits from the terrible practices he put in place when he sat at Bain’s helm.

These facts weren’t lost on Sensata’s workers who organized a petition with 35,000 signatures pleading with Mitt Romney not to ship their jobs to China. Thus far, all they’ve earned is silence.

Yet Mitt Romney is asking Americans for a favor on November 6th. He’s asking us to trust him. He’s asking us to ignore the Americans who worked at Sensata and so many other US companies whose jobs and intellectual capital were sent to China. He’s asking us to believe he holds Americans’ best interests at heart, despite making large profits from shipping US jobs to China and keeping that money in a secret Cayman Islands bank account in order to dodge paying US taxes and support the American public interest. He’s asking us to believe he is a patriotic American even though it is the practice of the company he founded to lower the US flag on American workers who are forced to labor to train their Chinese replacements.

How can we trust a man who built his legacy on a foundation of harm to Americans? How can we trust a man who, even now, ignores the plight of the workers the company he founded continues to victimize, continues to push onto US government assistance roles and remove their hopes of economic independence? And how can we trust a man who has, throughout his entire career in business favored China over America and personal profits over the best interests of the American people?

Links:

http://www.rrstar.com/news/x887150325/Sensata-workers-go-Bainport-to-protest-Freeport-outsourcing

http://tucsoncitizen.com/baja-democrats/2012/10/14/the-romney-economy/

Who Does the Internet Think is ‘Completely Wrong?’ — Google to Find Out

As a measure of public opinion, it’s difficult to beat an uncensored Internet. You just have to do a little digging. A search here, a search there. Well, one meme has just cropped up that may surprise you. Or, as in the case of many, it may simply confirm what you already knew.

Find out for yourself by Googling or, even better, Google image searching “Completely Wrong” and see what you come up with.

For my part, I’ll leave you with this hint provided by Florida Today.

And just one more hint:

Americans who bust their asses at work, in volunteer, community service, or in the quest to find a job able to support a family, don’t like it when you call them moochers. Further, it is the height of arrogance and ignorance for someone to claim that the people who ‘mooched’ likely include people whose jobs were shipped overseas or lost when ‘a completely wrong someone’ profited by driving American companies into bankruptcy.

Completely wrong. Google it.

EDIT: Seems to be some speculation that a blogger created this Google bomb. I can assure you, and my wife who notified me will bear witness, this Google bomb was entirely self inflicted.

EDIT: After seeing the Vice Presidential debate, I think I know now who threw the pie. Say it ain’t so, Joe!

UPDATE: Please watch the video below to see how Romney’s Bain Capital is still shipping US jobs to China:

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