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U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney answers a question as he debates President Barack Obama during the second U.S. presidential campaign debate in Hempstead, New York, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
By now there's no real doubt that Mitt Romney's lies about Chrysler and General Motors moving jobs from the United States to China thanks to the auto bailout hurt rather than helped him. The American Prospect's Paul Waldman suggests where Romney miscalculated, not realizing that this was the lie that the traditional media wouldn't let him get away with:
...the car companies stepped up to act as third-party validators of the truth. The Chrysler CEO wrote an emphatic letter to the company's employees assuring them no American jobs were moving to China, and a GM spokesperson criticized the ad as well.

Which, if the Romney campaign had been a bit more thoughtful, they might have expected. Don't forget that Chrysler and GM have their own interest in maintaining support for the bailout. They got lots of help from American taxpayers, and they want those taxpayers to see the bailout as a success story, continue to feel good about American car companies, and continue to buy their cars. They might stay silent while Republicans criticize the bailout, but if you accuse them of a specific act that they aren't guilty of, they're going to speak up.

It's a fairly harsh indictment of the media to say that Romney could lie with only mild correction without Chrysler and GM stepping in, thanks to so many reporters and editors being unwilling to call out a lie based merely on the facts. But unfortunately, it's not wrong, and that's probably what lulled the Romney campaign into complacency that they wouldn't get in trouble for one more outrageous lie. And then the hammer came down in the form of condemnation in the newspapers of the state Romney could least afford to piss off if he's to have any path to victory.

As nice as it would be to have a media establishment that sees identifying falsehoods as such as a part of the act of reporting, there's some pleasure in seeing Romney's habit of exploiting that failure bite him so hard in the ass in the final week of the campaign.

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Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 07:05 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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