Ford is cancelling plans to move thousands of jobs to Mexico, and two candidates are fighting over the credit. GOP front-runner Donald Trump was the first to claim victory, claiming that his “badgering” was the reason Ford changed its mind:
Word is that Ford Motor, because of my constant badgering at packed events, is going to cancel their deal to go to Mexico and stay in U.S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2015
Kasich didn’t take Trump’s claim lying down, however, arguing that the actual deal to bring Ford back was struck four years earlier:
“Our country needs real leadership and not empty, false rhetoric. Working as a TEAM, we brought Ford production jobs back from Mexico to Ohio years ago. That’s how things really get done. Hard work and teamwork brings results for the people,” Kasich said in a blog post on his site. “Our nation needs a leader with a record of actually delivering for all of us, that’s why I’m running for President.”
So who’s telling the truth? The Dispatch tried to sort out the disagreement and reported mixed findings:
Here’s a Toledo Blade story from four years ago, announcing the move from Mexico to Lorain County.
But Rowland reports there is more to all of this. “As the CNN Money article pointed out, Ford has been taking heat for about six months after announcing plans to invest $2.5 billion in transmission plants in Chihuahua and Guanajuato, creating about 3,800 jobs in Mexico,” Rowland writes. “For several months, Kasich has been pressuring an automaker behind the scenes that has announced plans to move production to Mexico. But the campaign won’t say which one.”
Based on this, it looks like Kasich and Trump might not even be talking about the same auto decision, so there might be plenty of credit to go around. That said, I remain skeptical of Trump’s claim that his public speeches were the main cause of Ford’s decision not to relocate. The article notes that the auto maker has been taking heat for at least the last six months, dating well before Trump’s June announcement and suggesting that he had, at most, a contributory effect on the public pressure.
Nick Arnold is a researcher for the American Principles Project.