Romney Criticized for Jeep Ad, While Obama Tours Sandy Devastation

The president toured the damage with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, while the GOP challenger ran controversial ads in battleground Ohio

While millions of Americans attempt to put their lives back together in the wake of superstorm Sandy, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's TV ad in the battleground state of Ohio sparked major controversy.

In the ad, Romney claims that Chrysler and GM are shipping jobs to China, and that it is Romney himself and not President Barack Obama who has the best interest of the auto industry in mind. A broad swath of responses from groups including independent fact-checkers, top execs at the car companies and, of course, the Obama campaign have claimed the ad is patently untrue. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday called it an "outrageous lie."

Chrysler has said it may produce some Jeeps in China to serve its customers in that region, but says that wouldn't affect any U.S. jobs -- and that the company is in fact growing here at home. It's agreed among analysts that Obama's decision to provide government loans to GM and Chrysler while they went through bankruptcy may have saved about one million jobs, according to CBS News.

Auto industry issues are of deep concern to voters in Ohio, where many jobs depend on it. And Romney's desired job as President of the United States may indeed depend on voters in Ohio.

While Romney's camp worked to manage that message as well as his larger campaign efforts, the president was in New Jersey, surveying the storm damage with Governor Chris Christie -- a vocal opponent of the president and a valuable Romney surrogate prior to the storm.

Together, Obama and Christie flew over the state assessing damage and comforting affected citizens on the ground. Much has been made in the media of the surprising alliance between the two men, which seemed to rise above politics in the face of tragedy and emergency. Christie lauded Obama's attentive response repeatedly and effusively, and the president returned the praise.

Romney was back on the campaign trail on Wednesday, and Obama returns today in earnest, with visits to Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado. Both men resume their campaigns with extreme caution and an effort to be sensitive in such an unusual lead-up to Election Day.

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