Romney Wins "Lie of the Year" Award

The dubious honor is for a claim that Jeep was sending jobs to China.

Posted: 12/13/2012 09:39 AM EST

Although Republican nominee Mitt Romney lost his 2012 presidential bid, he's ending the year with at least one win: Politifact's "Lie of the Year" award. In a desperate effort to increase support in the key battleground state of Ohio, Romney claimed that President Obama had "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China,” costing Americans jobs. And, even after Chrysler issued a statement denying the claim, the Romney campaign doubled-down and turned it into an ad.

Here's what the fact checkers at the Pulitzer Prize-winning site had to say:

It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign — that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep’s parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.

And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.

People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.

This is the fourth time that Politifact has awarded the dubious honor. In 2011, it was for Democrats' claim that Republicans had voted to end Medicare, writes the Week.

 

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(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)

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