(Photo credit: Stephanie DiBiase)
by Keith Laing, The Hill Newspaper
A major U.S. car rental company has distanced itself from a franchise that reportedly placed bumper stickers on its vehicles questioning the citizenship of President Obama and encouraging a vote for Mitt Romney.
Chicago resident Stephanie DiBiase complained in a series of tweets last week about receiving a car at Buffalo, N.Y. airport branch of Dollar-Thrifty Automotive Group that was adorned with a bumper sticker that read “[V]ote for the American.”
“Hey @thriftycars thanks for making my car rental political,” DiBiase wrote on the website. “I will NEVER rent from you again. #birther #unethical.
rental car bumper sticker”Just dropped rental off @thriftycars which I will never rent from again,” she added in a subsequent tweet two days later. “All their cars have #birther racist bumper stickers buyer beware.”
The parent group for the rental agency said Friday afternoon that it does not approve of political messages being displayed on its cars.
“The company does not condone the placement of political materials on our corporate rental cars nor is it associated with any particular political position,” Thrifty said in a statement provided to The Hill. “The alleged incident involves a licensee of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, acting as an independent business operation. We have been assured that the situation has been rectified.”
The was first reported by the Huffington Post website, who DiBiase directed one of her tweets about the anti-Obama bumper sticker to.
According to website’s report, DiBiase and San Diego resident Barbara Wingate complained to employees of the Thrifty location that they rented from, but they were told that the owner of the branch wanted them on the vehicles.
“We noticed a bumper sticker on the car and in the dark lot we thought it was a promotion to ‘buy American — but didn’t think about it until the next morning when we went to the car for additional luggage,” Wingate told the website. “After reading it, we realized what it said/meant and were horrified.”
DiBase said in the report that she was “embarrassed” to drive the car with the bumper sticker questioning Obama’s place of birth.
“We all thought it was offensive,” DiBiase said according to the original report. “If it was a general Mitt Romney sticker, it would be upsetting, but it would not be offensive.”
DiBase told the website that she removed the bumper stick from the car she rented, which was a Toyota Prius.