For all the Jeeps in
In the last full week of campaigning before the election, son
of Michigan Mitt Romney drew the
wrath of an unlikely constituency: car company CEOs. On the campaign trail last
week, Romney told
an Ohio audience, "Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of
moving all production to China." The claim appeared to be based on a misreading
of a Bloomberg story which reported that Chrysler would begin producing
Jeeps in China for the local market to escape tariffs, but was not shifting production
from the United States. Nonetheless, the Romney campaign doubled down on the attack
with a new
commercial claiming that, "[Barack] Obama took GM and Chrysler into
bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China."
A Chrysler spokesman described the claim as "a leap that
would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats" and the company's CEO
Sergio Marchionne, one of the Italians in question,
denied in a letter
to employees that any production would be moved to China. General Motors also denied
the ad's claims that it plans to cut jobs in the United States.
Marchionne wasn't the only Italian fed up with Romney's
rhetoric this week. The La Repubblica newspaper
ran an irritated
editorial on Thursday after the Republican candidate mentioned the country
along with Greece and Spain as a cautionary tale for the U.S. economy.
Global warming back
on the agenda
The issue of climate change has been conspicuously
absent in this election. It was not mentioned once in any of the three
presidential debates, even as both candidates touted their support for the coal
industry. But the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy this week has put the
on the agenda, with political leaders including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggesting a link between
the storm and human-caused global warming.
New York City's independent mayor, Michael Bloomberg, made a surprise
endorsement of Obama this week, citing the president's steps on reducing
carbon emissions as the main reason. His endorsement, published on
Bloomberg.com, also blasted Romney for abandoning the emissions-cutting
policies he supported as governor of Massachusetts.
Nonetheless, while both campaigns have been scrambling to
respond to the storm, which dominated headlines for most of the week, neither
candidate has gone as far as to put the damage in the context of climate
The Benghazi drip
The Central Intelligence Agency this week took steps to
defend its response to Sept. 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher
Stevens and three others at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. According to an
account provided to the media by senior intelligence officials, CIA
operatives rushed to the compound within 25 minutes of the attack and helped
organize the evacuation of the survivors. The officials insisted they had
encountered no resistance from Washington, though the information doesn't
address the shifting accounts provided by the administration in the wake of the
A story published on Foreign
Policy this week also reported
that documents recently found at the Benghazi site show that the team at
the consulate was concerned that they were under surveillance on the day of the
attack and weren't satisfied with the level of security provided by the Libyan
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa
(R-CA) and National Security Subcommittee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
a letter to Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton demanding an explanation for the documents.
Playing the Castro
The two candidates are running
neck-and-neck in Florida heading into the last week of the campaign, and
the Romney campaign has evidently decided to make a last-minute effort to lock
down Cuban-American voters in the state with a Spanish-language
ad noting the "endorsements" Obama has received from Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Raul Castro's daughter, Mariela, noting
also that the Environmental Protection Agency sent out an Hispanic Heritage Month email containing a
picture with a mural of Che Guevara.
The ad failed to note that Fidel Castro would prefer
a robot to either candidate.
The latest from FP:
Frank Januzzi wonders
human rights were never discussed in the campaign.
Rosa Brooks says
military voter is a myth.
Nick Schifrin on
why both campaigns are afraid to talk
about the eurocrisis.
David Rothkopf on
why Sandy could be a political
Plus, stay tuned for the latest on election eve from The Cable and Passport.
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