The White House and Ford Motor Co. are denying claims that the Obama administration pressured the automaker into pulling an ad featuring criticism of the government's auto bailouts.
The ad, which Ford started airing earlier this month, featured a supposed Ford customer at a mock press conference saying he wasn't interested in buying a car "that was bailed out by our government." Ford did not take the bailout money while its Detroit competitors, General Motors and Chrysler, did.
"I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own, win lose or draw," the customer in the ad says. "That's what America's about, is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you've got to pick yourself up and go back to work."
The Detroit News reported Tuesday that Ford subsequently pulled the ad in response to White House concerns. According to a column in the newspaper, the White House questioned whether the ad was criticizing the same policy Ford's CEO had supported in public.
But White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer flagged what he described as the "bad info" in a tweet, calling the Detroit News reporting "false."
Ford reportedly claimed the ad was not pulled early.
"These spots are scheduled for certain periods and this one ran its normal course," the company said in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press.