A top Chrysler executive had a very public, colourful go at Donald Trump on Thursday after the billionaire accused the auto giant of wanting to ship American jobs to China.
Trump had tweeted: “Obama is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China - and will!”, repeating a claim made by Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney that Chrysler had already shot down in flames.
“You are full of shit!”
That was Chrysler product design vice-president Ralph Gilles’ direct response to Trump's post - a statement that immediately went viral with nearly 2000 retweets.
Gilles later apologised for his strongly-worded language.
“But lies are just that, lies,” he wrote.”Thanks for the support people.”
Trump has yet to respond, perhaps wisely.
Obama pushed through an $84 billion (R730 billion) bailout of the US auto industry in 2009 despite objections from Republicans - including Romney - and the sector has since recovered.
The future of the auto industry has since become a key issue in the Midwest, particularly in Ohio, a critical swing state in the November 6 vote that is home to many people working in the car-making sector.
Jeep, which belongs to the Chrysler Group, has a strong presence in Ohio.
Gilles's statement was the latest public rebuke to hit Twitter as more and more officials and politicians take to the social network - sometimes on the spur of the moment - to condemn people or statements.
In another election-related Twitter shout-out on Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry strongly criticised the US voting process,
saying: “The US electoral system is decentralised, fragmented and obsolete.”
prompting the US ambassador to respond forcefully.
To which US ambassador to Russsia Michael McFaul retorted: “US elections=competition.
“In pres. race, opposition candidate raised millions, debated incumbent, on TV, & outcome uncertain,” he tweeted. - AFP