Chrysler gives workers day off to vote after rhetorical war with Romney

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 14:20 EDT
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An American-made Jeep in a Chinese showroom. Photo: lendy16 / Shutterstock.com.
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For the last two weeks, American automaker Chrysler has been trying to make one thing abundantly clear to the public: No matter what Mitt Romney’s ads claim, they are not moving production to China. And on Tuesday, they’re sending the whole workforce to make that point to Mitt Romney himself.

“Chrysler gave its entire work force the day off to Vote Today!” Ralph Gilles, Chrysler’s vice president of production, said on Twitter. “Let’s go!”

The move frees up more than 55,000 workers to go to the polls and vote for their candidate of choice. While some are sure to vote for Romney, polling in Ohio — where many of Chrysler’s employees live — has consistently shown that Obama retains an advantage in the state because he rescued the auto industry.

It’s that very rescue that the Romney campaign has been trying to obfuscate on, with the candidate himself claiming that Chrysler’s Jeep line is “thinking of moving all production to China.” Multiple ads on television and radio in Ohio have carried the claim, but Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne insisted the implication is “inaccurate,” calling it “a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.”

Reacting to vocal Romney supporter and reality television show host Donald Trump, Giles too joined in the chorous correcting the claim. “[You] are full of shit!” he exclaimed after Trump told his followers that Obama “bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China–and will!”

“I apologize for my language, but lies are just that, lies,” Giles added later. “Thanks for the support People.”

For the record, Giles also credited the United Autoworkers Union for helping get the day off to vote: “Gm,Ford & Chrysler via negotiated terms UAW have had election day off for 15yrs!” he wrote. “Logically extended to salaried workers too!”

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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