"Liar! He's a Liar!"

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 2 2012 11:31 AM

"Liar! He's a Liar!"

HILLIARD, Ohio -- For days, ever since an OFA staffer captured it live, the Obama campaign has been shaming Mitt Romney over an ad that implies Jeep jobs might move to China. The Romney commercial is based on a breezy, purposeful misreading of a story about new demand for Jeeps in China, which has the company considering some plants in that country. In the commercial, this has become a demonic tale of Obama "selling Chrysler to an Italian company, which is going to build Jeeps in China."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

The ad has not been pulled; the Obama campaign has counted on editorial page backlash to make it bounce back on Romney. In Hilliard, the message got through, and the crowd of 2800 or so people proved it.

"When you try to change the facts, just because they inconvenience your campaign, that's not change," said the president. "Trying to massage the facts, that's not change."


A man standing in the middle of the crowd shouted: "It's lying!"

Obama started to let the crowd finish the thought for him. Let them, not him, call out Romney. "That, that's just..."

"Lying! Lying!"

"You know, we've been seeing this, what Gov. Romney's trying to spread, right here in Ohio!"

"He's a liar!"

"You've got folks who work at the Jeep plant who've been calling their employers, asking: Is it true? Are our jobs being shipped to China? And the reason for this calls that Gov. Romney has been running an ad that says so."

Obama finished summarizing that story (which, I believe, was broken for the media by labor unions), and concluded that "you don't scare hard-working Americans just to scare up votes." That's the way Obama needs voters to understand the new, moderate Romney if they're going to decide against a vote for him.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 12:02 PM Here It Is: The Flimsiest Campaign Attack Ad of 2014, Which Won’t Stop Running
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 17 2014 1:46 PM A Salute to Defiant Scots on the Eve of Their Possible Secession
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Football Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.