Michigan was mentioned in that nightmare debate — and both candidates were wrong

September 30, 2020, 10:40 AM

It was hard to follow, but a transcript shows Michigan's auto industry — and who did what to help it — was a topic of what we'll generously call "conversation" during last night's debate. 

Several interruptions after beleaguered host Chris Wallace asked a question on the economy, Joe Biden claimed he "brought back" the auto industry in Michigan but that Chrylser and General Motors were now "gone" after four years of Donald Trump. The first portion of the claim is an overstatement, an AP fact check has previously found. The second part is flat-out wrong: Both companies still exist and have factories Michigan. GM is headquartered in downtown Detroit.

Trump's rebuttal was wrong too. He claimed foreign auto companies from Germany and Japan have come to Michigan during his presidency, but that hasn't happened either.

Here's a transcription of the exchange posted by the Daily Mail; hopefully it doesn't give you PTSD:

Vice President Joe Biden: (21:22)
I’m the guy that brought back the automobile industry.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:25)
He totally gave up on manufacturing.

Chris Wallace: (21:25)
All right, let him-

Vice President Joe Biden: (21:25)
I was asked to bring back Chrysler and General Motors. He brought them back right here in the state of Ohio and Michigan. He blew it. They’re gone. He blew it. And in fact, they’re gone-

President Donald J. Trump: (21:34)
Ohio had the best year it’s ever had last year. Michigan had the best year they’ve ever had.

Vice President Joe Biden: (21:40)
That is not true.

President Donald J. Trump: (21:41)
Many car companies came in from Germany, from Japan, went to Michigan, went to Ohio and they didn’t come in with you. [crosstalk].

Trump also brought up Michigan to say that life under the governor's Covid restrictions is "almost like being in prison," even though most businesses are open and a stay-home order was in effect for only about two months.

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