Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Presidential Election

October 31, 2012

Obama tours storm damage, Romney mutes rhetoric

(Continued)

"And now comes word that Chrysler is starting to build cars in, you guessed it, China."

Biden said the ads were scurrilous, and he noted that executives from General Motors and Chrysler, which produces Jeeps, had said the claims were inaccurate.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is, just recently in the last couple of months, in Toledo, Ohio, not only is the Jeep plant open and churning out Jeeps, they announced they're adding 1,100 new jobs."

Ryan's emailed response conceded nothing. "President Obama has chosen not to run on the facts of his record, but he can't run from them," it said.

His reference to a $25 billion cost to taxpayers reflected the Treasury Department's most recent estimate of the amount General Motors and Chrysler still owe the government from the financing it received during a managed bankruptcy in 2009.

Ryan didn't mention that the two companies have repaid billions more than that. Nor did he refer to Obama's frequent claim that the administration's bailout, which Romney opposed, saved large numbers of jobs and prevented the collapse of the U.S. auto industry itself.

Obama's aides said the president would return to political travel on Thursday with stops in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado. But for one more day, he was hands-on commander of the federal response to Sandy, and consoler-in-chief for its victims.

He and Christie flew by helicopter over washed-out roads, flooded homes, boardwalks bobbing in the ocean, and in Seaside Heights, a fire still burning after ruining about eight structures.

The president's itinerary also included a community center in Brigantine Beach that is serving as a shelter for local storm victims. Officials said about 200 people were sleeping in the center's gym at the height of the storm, a number that has been reduced.

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Presidential Election