In the closing days of the race and desperate for a win, Mitt Romney tried to throw a long pass, aiming at undercutting Obama’s advantage among Ohio’s white working class voters.

In poll after poll, Romney is failing to close the gap in Ohio, in part because the President is polling better among white, non-college educated men in Ohio than in other battleground states. That white, working class support for is attributed to his work to save the auto industry, tied to 1 in 8 Ohio jobs. Polls show Ohio voters overwhelmingly support the auto rescue.

So Romney is trying a particular tricky bit of jiu jitsu: he’s going directly at Obama’s perceived strength — support for the auto industry — while at the same time, trying to take his biggest negative — years working at a company that shipped American jobs overseas — and using it to attack the President. If you haven’t seen the ads, Romney claims the President made the automakers go bankrupt, sold Chrysler to the italians and sent American jobs to China.

Just let that last part sink in for a minute — Mitt Romney is accusing someone else of sending jobs to China.

It’s a desperate move by a desperate candidate.

And it’s not working. Check out these headlines in the major newspapers in northern Ohio, home of most of Ohio’s auto jobs.

Youngstown Vindicator: Romney’s GM and Chrysler ads are an insult to Ohioans

“Mitt Romney’s widely debunked claim that GM and Chrysler are moving auto manufacturing jobs to China after being bailed out by President Obama isn’t just dirty politics. The claim suggests that the Republican nominee for president believes the voters of Ohio are not sophisticated enough to separate fact from fiction”.

Toledo Blade: Auto Toxin

Mr. Rom­ney’s own words make clear he is no friend of the auto in­dus­try, on which Ohio re­lies for one of ev­ery eight jobs. Vot­ers in Ohio and Mich­i­gan — and the na­tion — need to re­mem­ber that.

Neither paper endorsed Romney, nor did the Akron Beacon-Journal or the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Mitt Romney has few fans in Ohio’s auto belt — for good reason. But it’s not just Ohio. Check out this headline in another swing state newspaper:

Denver Post: Romney outsourcing the truth on Jeeps

“Nothing smells like desperation more than the falsehoods and half-truths coming out of the Romney campaign about Chrysler purportedly moving Jeep manufacturing jobs to China.

The episode has been shameful.”

Ouch, that’s got to hurt. His gambit is failing and blowing up on his campaign. The media have come to recognize the desperation and cynicism represented by their final pitch to the American electorate. The New York Times sums it up in their editorial this morning:

“By doing that in a flailing, last-minute grab for Ohio, Mr. Romney is providing a grim preview of what kind of president he would be.”

Bonus blowback: Romney supporter Donald Trump got called out by a Vice President for Product Development at Chrysler today on Twitter:

Here’s a tip for Republicans. If you’re trying to sell yourself as the party that’s better for the auto industry, you might want to start by not getting called liars by everyone in it.

Follow me on Twitter: @ohbudgetwatch

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