Last week the campaign for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney released an advertisement accusing President Barack Obama of failing Ohio car dealerships.
One problem: The ad appears to show stock footage of Oklahoma.
In the 30-second spot, Al Zarzour, a 61-year-old car dealership owner from Lyndhurst, Ohio, says that in the wake of the auto bailout General Motors shut down his credit line, forcing him to lay off his 30-person workforce.
"In 2009, under the Obama administration's bailout of General Motors, Ohio dealerships were forced to close," a narrator says in the commercial.
But just as the narrator says that at the 5-second mark, the ad shows a streetscape that appears to be in Oklahoma City, as noted by Sarah Burris, managing editor of the progressive blog FutureMajority.com. Google street view confirms that the scene is indeed outside the Advanced Academics building on E. Sheridan Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Burris told The Huffington Post via email that she and her friend, Dwight Clark, who she met in Oklahoma political circles, noticed the mistake while chatting the other day.
"It's amusing at the very least," Burris wrote on her Tumblr. "Looks like the stock footage of 'Ohio' just wasn’t good enough or someone maybe just miss clicked??? Ohio does come right before Oklahoma…. Oops."
The mistake was also noticed last week by Oklahoma's NewsOn6.com.
The ad may have more problems than just geography, according to PolitiFact, the fact-checking site that gave the spot a "half true" rating. Politifact found that the White House and General Motors did in fact reach a "general agreement" that the auto giant would have to cut back its number of dealerships under the bailout plan in order to reach profitability.
"[I]n a literal sense, the Romney ad’s statement is true. The Obama administration agreed to provide loans to General Motors if GM, on the brink of failure, would restructure through bankruptcy," Politifact said. "Yet even before the White House pressed it, GM was planning to cut dealership franchises."
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ohio is a crucial swing state in the presidential race, and the auto bailout could figure prominently for voters there. Despite the broad rebound in the American auto industry, Romney has criticized Obama's handling of the restructuring. Back in 2008, he penned a now-famous op-ed in The New York Times headlined, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
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