On Wednesday, self-described “objective” fact-checking organization Politifact announced that its 2012 “Lie of the Year” was a factually accurate Romney campaign commercial that accused President Barack Obama of taking Chrysler into bankruptcy and selling it to Italians “who are going to build Jeeps in China.”
After the ad aired during the last week of October in Ohio, liberal publications like Mother Jones acknowledged that every word of the ad was “true.” So did mainstream media outlets like the Christian Science Monitor.
The part of the ad that caused the controversy was the claim that:
Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy and sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China. Mitt Romney will fight for every American job.
Politifact strangely acknowledged that the controversy “started as a line in a speech about where an American brand of car would be made” before it “blew up into a lie heard by voters well beyond Ohio.”
As Breitbart News documented then, Romney misspoke on the stump when he said Jeep was going to move “all” of its production to China. But the commercial never claimed this. Rather, the ad merely stated something that was true — that Obama sold Chrysler to an Italian company that was “going to build Jeeps in China.”
In 2010, Fiat, which owns Chrysler, announced it would begin building some Jeeps in China as early as 2014.
Politifact concedes, “It’s not that President Obama and his campaign team were above falsehoods, either.” The organization, which masquerades as an objective fact-checking operation, mentions the Obama campaign “distorted Romney’s positions on abortion and immigration to make them seem more extreme than they actually were.”
Politifact also notes that during the 2012 campaign, a pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA, created an ad that accused Romney of being “responsible for a woman’s death when her husband lost his job at a Bain-controlled company.” Even the liberal Huffington Post admitted the Priorities USA ad was “much worse” than the Jeep ad.
And yet, the organization chose Romney’s factually correct ad as the Lie of the Year, claiming it was just “brazenly false,” instead of some of the actual lies it mentioned.
Notably, Politifact didn’t even consider the Obama administration’s claim that an anti-Muhammad video incited Libyans to attack the U.S. consulate in Benghazi when administration officials knew that it was a premeditated terrorist attack as its potential “Lie of the Year.”
In 2009, Politifact announced that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s claim about “death panels” in Obamacare was its “Lie of the Year.” After Palin revealed what Rush Limbaugh said was a “hidden truth,” the Obama administration removed the so-called “death panels” from the Obamacare bill. And three years later, former Obama adviser Steve Rattner, in a New York Times op-ed, said the country actually needed “death panels” to ration health care.
In 2010, Politifact called claims that Obamacare would be a “government takeover” of healthcare was the Lie of the Year.