We won't know how accurate the polls are until the results stream in on Tuesday, but in the waning days of the election President Obama appears to be extending his lead in the key swing state of Ohio. President Obama's message and closing arguments in the final stretch have been consistently positive and upbeat, while Mitt Romney's message and closing argument is one of doom and gloom, and blatant lies to the faces of Ohio voters.
Mitt Romney's overwhelming negativity, his embarrassing "storm relief" event, and his gross lies about Chrysler's intentions to move its Jeep production capacity to China may not be the sole cause of President Obama's renewed strength in the polls, but the amount of bad press Romney has received for it can't be discounted as independent and undecided voters make up their minds.
Here's a quick roundup of local press reactions.
From The Toledo Blade: "Auto Toxin"
In the final few days of the presidential contest, Mitt Romney evidently recognizes that his opposition to the federal rescue of General Motors and Chrysler is costing him voter support he needs in Ohio and Michigan. So the Republican nominee is conducting an exercise in deception about auto-industry issues that is remarkable even by the standards of his campaign.
The Columbus Dispatch's Ad Watch
Regarding “Jeeps in China,” Romney is pointing to a Bloomberg News piece from last week in which a Fiat-Chrysler official confirmed that the company is considering building Jeeps in China. But the same official said what is being considered is adding production in China — not shutting down American Jeep factories such as the one in Toledo. Chrysler is investing $500 million in its Toledo Jeep Complex and more than 1,000 new jobs were promised there.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Flailing in Ohio, Romney rolls out Jeep ploy"
Mitt Romney is desperate to convince Ohio voters that he's the candidate most committed to the U.S. auto industry -- no matter how much confusion he must sow to do it.
The Youngstown Vindicator: "Romney’s GM and Chrysler ads are an insult to Ohioans"
Mitt Romney’s widely debunked claim that GM and Chrysler are moving auto manufacturing jobs to China after being bailed out by President Obama isn’t just dirty politics. The claim suggests that the Republican nominee for president believes the voters of Ohio are not sophisticated enough to separate fact from fiction.
As of two days ago the only pollster showing Romney with a lead in Ohio was the conservative-leaning Rasmussen. As of today Rasmussen shows Ohio tied.
That could be a coincidence, but I'm more inclined to believe Romney finally stepped over the line. Because it's one thing to exaggerate the record or mislead in a broad, abstract sense. It's another thing entirely to go to a state, lie to their faces about their own jobs, and then expect them not to notice.
As a Democrat and a supporter of President Obama, I would like to thank the campaign adviser who thought it would be a good idea to directly challenge Chrysler's word a week away from the election.
On the other hand, from what we know of Mitt Romney, it's also possible that this is a mess of his own making.