Mitt Romney’s Michigan ad shows him driving a car that was made in Canada

Bumped because Buzzfeed now reports that Chrysler has confirmed that Romney is driving a 300 model, and that "The Chrysler 300 is built at our Chrysler Group assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario." We're pleased to have broken this story. :-) Also very funny: the shot of Romney with his dad that the ad apparently wants you to believe is of them looking over the Detroit auto show actually turns out to be them looking over the 1964 World's Fair - in New York. From a helipad. Can't make this stuff up. - promoted by david

The next big prize in the GOP primaries is Michigan, one of Mitt Romney’s five home states (along with MA, NH, UT, and CA).  He’s released an ad showing him driving around in a fancy Chrysler while he talks about how much he loves Michigan, and all.  Here’s the ad:

And here’s the problem: that Chrysler that he’s driving is a 300 model, and the 300 is made in Canada.

How do we know?  Here’s a screenshot from the ad (click for larger) – the key is the dashboard layout in the lower right hand corner.

Compare that interior layout to that of two Chrysler models – the 200, which is made in the U.S., and the 300, which is made in Canada (click the images for larger views):

Chrysler 200 Chrysler 300

The biggest giveaway is the air vents, which are tall and skinny in the 300, but are sort of square-shaped in the 200.  You can see that the 300 is an exact match for what Romney is driving; the 200 is not.


By the way, I don’t know nearly enough about cars to have caught this myself.  An alert reader named David Shorr spotted it and passed it along – thanks David!


31 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I think this post is reaching

    For one thing “US made” is a government defintion- some cars assembled in the US are made sub-assembled and use parts from outside of the US and there’s some percentage involved.

    By your measure a Honda made in Tennessee is more American than a Chrysler 300. Does anyone really make that distinction?

    Also Chrysler until recently was owned by the Cerebus Captial with people like John Snow and Dan Quayle at the top. Did you root for them as an American Company then?

    Now Chrysler is owned by Fiat.

    My point is that the “where it’s made” argument is impossible for people to understand and all attempts to use it for advantage are intentionally misleading.

    You might as well be anti-Walmart, which might work in metro Boston but is not a winning strategy.

    • I tend to agree

      We don’t have any idea how much of the Chry 300 value chain is American vs. the Chry 200. My suspicion is that it would turn out that their impact on the American economy is almost identical.

      Me, I make fun of him because he drives an old fart car. An old fart car which doesn’t get very good mpgs, I’d add. The 200 does quite a bit better, perhaps because it doesn’t come with 8 cylinders, unlike the 300.

    • the people working (or not working) those plants think it means something

      People in a place, like say Michigan, that is accustomed to having those plants present and giving them jobs think it means something. The certainly think it means something now that those jobs are gone.

      Your point about the “made in America” term being sometimes imprecise is basically correct, but for the Romney Inc. campaign to use a Canadian-manufactured car in the big driving around Michigan ad is a major blunder.

      Excellent job by David.

    • "the 'where it’s made' argument is impossible for people to understand"

      The Chrysler 300 is assembled in Canada – Chrysler itself doesn’t deny that. Are there some US parts? Maybe – though apparently many of the 300′s have engines that were made in Mexico.

  2. What's even worse...

    Canada is sort of French, you know.

  3. Death wish?

    The amateur-hour quality of Romney’s effort continues to astound.

    • Agreed -

      even setting aside the fact that he’s driving a Canadian-made car, this ad is incredibly amateurish. The editing is awful, which makes Romney’s already awkward manner of speaking seem even more herky-jerky. Who’s running this show, anyway? Oh right

      • And please

        No more about what an evil genius Mr. Krazy Khazie is.

        We should be so lucky he continues to find employment with Brown & Romney.

      • "PresidentObama ______ did the things _______ liberalsbeenwantingtodoforyears"

        That’s what I was thinking. The audio is just awful. You’d think they could do a few more takes and get it right.

  4. Mitt is mean

    At least he didn’t have a dog strapped to the roof the car — this time. Romney’s sociopathic behavior and lack of authenticity make him unfit to be in any elective office and he’d do better to spend his time in “severe” psycotherapy.

  5. I don't deny it's a stupid ad.

    I just doubt if anyone’s going to vote differently because of it.

    The big story here (in my opinion) is that the number of people employed by the automobile industry has declined dramatically, mostly because of productivity.

    Employment might be “up” compared to a couple years ago, but no one mentions that new hires are making 50% less than people hired previously.

    The automotive industry is not what it once was, and whoever is President is not going to change that.

    In November I have Michigan solidly in the Blue column.

    • It's hard to say that anyone

      votes differently because of an ad. It’s the fact that it reinforces all the wrong (true) things about Romney, most of all, his lack of authenticity.

  6. The copy is a bigger issue than the car

    What does this gibberish even mean?

    “Now when I grew up in MI, it was exciting to be here. I remember going to the Detroit auto show with my dad. That was a big deal. How in the world did an industry and its leaders and its unions get in such a fix that they lost jobs, they lost their future. President Obama did all these things that liberals wanted to do for years. And the fact the you’ve got millions of Americans out of work, home values collapsing, people here in Detroit are distressed. I want to make MI stronger and better. MI has been my home. This is personal. I’m mitt Romney and I approve this message.”

    • Copy Is Better Than That

      This is not that strong an ad, given. The attack on Obama and “the liberals” comes out of nowhere and is weirdly juxtaposed with Romeny pointing to the distressed Detroit. But you make it seem much worse by listing it all out here this way. Here’s the same copy, appropriately punctuated:

      Now… When I grew up in Michigan, it was exciting to be here. I remember going to the Detroit auto show with my dad. That was a big deal.

      How in the world did an industry and its leaders and its unions get in such a fix that they lost jobs? That they lost their future?

      President Obama did all these things the liberals have wanted to do for years… [Shakes head dismissively]

      And the fact that you’ve got millions of Americans out of work, home values collapsing, people here in Detroit are distressed… [pointing to, you know, "distress" out his car window]

      I want to make MI stronger and better. Michigan’s been my home. And this is personal.

      I’m Mitt Romney and I approve this message.

      Not terrible or entirely incomprehensible.

      • So Obama's liberal agenda caused the mortage crisis?

        But thanks for adding paragraph breaks and descriptions of the actions in the ad. Those added question marks really change the substance.

        The personal parts of the copy are fine. It’s the implicit suggestion that Obama’s policy CAUSED the distress that I take issue with, and nothing about your re-punctuation changes that at all.

        • You asked what it meant.

          And suggested it was gibberish.

          To the contrary, it is poorly phrased and overly vague but the point is more clear than you suggested in your first post.

          When the phrases are separated out, at least for me, it’s clearer that this is mostly a bio ad (I’m Mitt Romney and I lived in Michigan as a kid – the “Michigan’s been my home” phrasing is actually quite clever).

          But it’s also an attack ad that essentially says: “The economy is terrible, especially here in Michigan where we make cars. And President Obama did nothing but all those stupid liberal ‘things the liberals have wanted to do for years.’ So things are still so bad that I can see how bad it is just driving around. My plan is to fix it, because I love Michigan.”

          Far from the best ad/copy but hardly “gibberish.”

          • Oh, so your issue is semantic

            Glad you took all that time to take issue with my use of the word gibberish.

            No matter how you punctuate the copy, it still strings together poorly expressed ideas in a manner that suggests the the bailout of the auto industry caused the economic distress in Detroit.

            I choose to continue to consider that gibberish.

            • Most issues are semantic.

              Particularly when one is dealing with adjectives, punctuation and ellipses. ;-)

              So yes, in this case, my issue is semantic.

              But so were your original complaints about the ad which stated that the “bad copy” (the semantics of the ad) is a bigger problem than the choice of vehicle.

  7. The script is bad because it's backwards.

    It asks, “How did the industry…get in such a fix…?” then says the President did all the things liberals wanted in a way that sounds like it’s an answer to the question. However, the “fix” came first and THEN President Obama rode to the rescue bailing them out.

  8. This is a foolish post

    Do you really expect us to get excited about the fact that the car was made in CANADA?

    For what it’s worth, the 2011 Chrysler 300 shows up on the UAW’s list of cars assembled by either the UAW or the CAW. As the UAW says,

    Because of the integration of United States and Canadian vehicle production, all the vehicles listed that are made in Canada include significant UAW-made content and support the jobs of UAW members.

    I’d note that the Chrysler 200 doesn’t show up on this list. I don’t know where its made, but unless they’re making it in Italy, it’s VERY likely that it’s not union assembled, therefore anybody trying to court union members would be ashamed to be seen in it. UAW members know this stuff – their training center has two parking lots, one for union made, one for non-union made – the bus that takes you from the ‘scab’ parking lot drops off right by the entrance for everyone to see.

    Choosing a CAW assembled car that supports union jobs in Michigan over a non union made car is actually a sign that the Romney campaign knows what it’s doing.

  9. Huffpo and Dkos

    You’ve been picked up on the national blogs. Huffpo. Dkos.

    • The Problem this Detroit Auto Show Fan has with this....

      …. is that Romney’s father was president of AMC. Mitt and George were able to cruise in before the show was open to the public and was given the VIP treatment. This ad is trying to make him sound like the guy next door. As someone who also has attended the Detroit Auto Show with his father I can tell you that weekend crowds (because my father worked weekdays) and the private showings he experienced are not the same.

      I still love the Show and still go (almost) every year. My problem here is that Mr. 1% is trying to use this to present himself as the guy next door. He isn’t.

      It also doesn’t make up for his “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” attitude.

      FYI.. I will be voting for Santorum in the primary and Obama in the general.

  10. Conan fake ad,AAAAACpvMpk~,rAvHhAS7JOpa4tlt0CXVebDvGzQCdYY2&bclid=0&bctid=1454268623001

    Fake Romney Detroit Ad (Conan)

    Mitt Romney’s new message to Michigan voters.

  11. the problem here...

    Most democrats and/or liberals I know don’t particularly care that any particular car is made either here or there. It’s not something we’ve spent a great deal of time trying to piece together… at leat, that’s my experience It might matter to Chrysler emplyees, but I don’t think it’s a big secret, to them at least, that Chrysler has a plant in Ontario… And so this ‘gotcha’ more depends on a democratic/liberal view of how the republican/conservative mind might work… except that it’s an incorrect view.

    The conservative will see what, under normal circumstances, might be considered hypocrisy in a candidate and, depending upon their implicit understanding of that candidates meanness and cruelty will give what, in essence, looks like a pass to that behaviour. The conservative mind is a much more facile thing than is considered by the liberal mind: it’s how they square ‘support for the troops’ with purple heart band-aids; it’s how they can enthusiastically support draft dodger Geo W Bush while calling honest soldier John Kerry a coward; it’s how they can support Henry Hyde and his ‘youthful indiscretions’ while he was prosecuting Clinton; it’s how they’ve looked the other way at Abu Ghraib and Guantanemo; it’s the reason that oxycontin addict Rush Limbaugh gets their support and prayers while a vicious, and racist, ‘war on drugs’ plays out across decades. It’s also how they’ve talked themselves into hagiography of any riches and villification of any poverty.

    The point is that any purported hypocrisy, if their candidate is low down and mean enough, isn’t a deal breaker but rather a plus: I’ve actually heard conservatives say they’d prefer someone who can lie well, especially in the context of international diplomacy, and therefore get their agenda passed by hook or by crook, over an honest candidate.

    This isn’t, of course, to say that Mitt Romney (CEO of is an honest candidate. He is not. But I don’t think pointing out ‘gotchas’ like this cost him anything with GOP voters. Pointing out New Gingrichs hypocrisy isn’t going to get anywhere, either. And now that Rick Santorum has assumed the role of front-runner, pointing out his various hypocrisies isn’t going to hurt him either. In fact, the more coverage Santorum gets, the more people realize exactly how big of a dick he is, and can be, the more the GOP faithful will like him.

    To be honest, Mitt Romney’s real problem (with the GOP, that is) is simply that he hasn’t proven to them the actual extent of his ruthlessness.

    • I think you are underestimating

      how people feel about it in Michigan. LOL

      Here, sure, this is a tiny little slipup by Mitt and a tiny little instance of a hypocritical presentation of himself that we poke fun of.

      In MI, I think this is actually not so small. If this penetrates into the electorate before their primary, it could hurt.

      OMG. BlueMassGroup might have frickin’ denied Mitt Romney the damned nomination!! Because a few percentage points in MI might REALLY matter, and if he loses MI that is really, really bad for him…holy shit!

      If Mitt loses I am so giving BMG credit for breaking this story. :D

  12. Hm

    So this is what would have happened on “The Truman Show” had the Internet been accessible there.

    sabutai   @   Thu 16 Feb 4:55 PM

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