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Mitt Romney and the Auto Bailout

People make mistakes.  Obviously, we all have.  When a person in the public eye makes a mistake it could have large consequences.  But we are all human.  It comes with the territory.

When President Obama decided to bail out the auto industry in 2008 it was a controversial decision.  No one, except the most uninformed would now say that it was a mistake.  In 2008 the bailout was not a “sure thing”.  Candidate Romney, after checking to see what the public wanted, decided it was a huge mistake.  Obama decided that, because of all the lives that might be destroyed by an auto industry failure, he had to try.

The bailout worked.  So, now what does Romney say?  He claims credit for it!  There is a Jewish word for that.  They  call that “chutzpah” – extreme gall – someone who has overstepped the boundaries of accepted behavior.  The word expresses a strong sense of disgust, condemnation, and outrage. Does that describe Mitt Romney?

Jennifer Granholm was the governor of Michigan throughout all of this.  Her indignation is real and her disdain for Romney is deserved.  If it were up to Romney the auto industry would crash and burn.  This doesn’t just mean General Motors, it means every industry in Michigan that, in any way, depends on the auto industry.  The economy be damned.  Here is her letter to Mr. Romney:

Dear Mitt Romney:

There are politics, there are lies, and then there’s you. You take it to a whole ‘nother level.

OK, I admit that I have a particular animus toward you, as a guy that knifed us in the back when Michigan was on its knees, but you simply cannot be our president. It cannot happen.

As you know, Mitt, I was governor of Michigan during that horrible time, when the financial industry was melting down and the auto industry was in free fall. And you were running for president. You saw the polls about the unpopularity of bailouts and you lumped the auto industry in with the bank industry — the auto industry, where your father and so many of your family members had worked.

You raised your finger into the air, saw which way the wind was blowing, and followed it. Way to lead, Mitt.

You weren’t looking into the eyes of autoworkers getting laid off as factory after factory closed.

In the six month period surrounding the president’s inauguration, more than 1,018 Michigan companies had announced mass layoffs in response to the crash.

Our unemployment office was receiving more than 800,000 calls per day from people desperate for help. The auto industry was heading over the cliff, we were begging for help, and you were coolly standing behind us giving your home state a shove over the ledge. And now you have the nerve to claim credit for the auto industry’s rebound? It’s a joke, right?

Steve Rattner, who headed the president’s auto task force said it succinctly today when he said, “Mitt Romney is nuts.” If only that’s all it was.

So Mitt, here’s my request: Just stop it. Stop denying that you were pandering to a national audience when you wrote that Detroit should “go bankrupt” and then stop taking credit for the success of the Obama administration’s intervention to save the auto industry and more than a million jobs that went with it.

The Obama team wasn’t taking advice from you. So just. Stop. Talking. Just stop.

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One comment on “Mitt Romney and the Auto Bailout

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