Mitt Romney on the Auto Bailout, and Other Confusions

Mitt Romney

To the delight of liberals everywhere, Mitt Romney has not only reversed but contradicted himself about the auto bailout. In the wake of Chrysler’s loan payoff this week, Romney’s comments also typify how very confused and confounded the public’s perceptions of the bailout remain.

First, in 2008, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” saying that if they got the bailout they wanted, “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.” In 2009, he called Mr. Obama’s rescue plans “tragic,” “a sad circumstance for this country.”

Now, last Tuesday, one of Romney’s people said, “Mitt Romney had the idea [of restructuring though bankruptcy] first.” He just thought they should do it without wasting billions of dollars “propping up” the auto companies.

That of course made the Dems and the Libs run wild. With one brilliant stroke, the man has probably forfeited his candidacy for the presidency.

George and Mitt Romney at the New York World's Fair

George and Mitt at the New York World's Fair, 1964-1965

George Romney, former American Motors president, governor of Michigan and father of this prodigy, lost his run for the presidency in ’68 after claiming to have been “brainwashed” by the military regarding the Vietnam War.

One of George’s famous quotes is: “I didn’t say that I didn’t say it. I said that I didn’t say that I said it. I want to make that very clear.”

Mitt’s latest gaffe reflects not only the man’s strange and continuing reversals on every kind of issue—health care, immigration, climate change, and more. Like his dad, he seems to be brainwashed by the facts.

And yet, having it both ways on the bailout question very much typifies how the American public has reacted.

People continue to castigate the Obama administration for pouring money down a rathole, violating the free-enterprise system, rewarding failure and screwing suppliers and stockholders.

But the funny thing is, the bailout has worked, saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, turned an industry around and revived some very sick communities. There is plenty of hostility still, but its critics have to contend with a growing number of rather sticky facts.

Has the auto bailout been a success (at least so far) in your view?

—jgoods

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10 Comments

  1. Mitt is a classic GOP politician. He’s a political corn dog– greasy, crispy Republican “lower taxes and spending” on the outside, and salty mystery meat liberal on the inside– Socialized medicine, subsidized big auto, big oil, big tobacco, big food inc—- No wonder the voters barf as soon as he starts talking.

    The problem with the bailout is that it was done under condition that GM and Chrysler restructure in bankruptcy. So, along with the government giving billions in taxpayer money, they also effectively took many more billions from investors, suppliers, retirees and employees. Of course the government protected their phoney-baloney jobs by making sure the UAW was hurt as little as possiblem at the expense of raping tens of thousands of salaried employees and retirees.
    Frankly, the whole thing is the nastiest, filthiest thing that the government has done to it’s own citizens in 100 years. The whole concept of “too big to fail” as applied to Wall Street and Big Auto just demonstrates that any citizen should fall over laughing when sleezy Republicans start crooning about “free market” anything.

  2. Well, this article has received more comments than most. And still my comment is this. I don’t come to this site for a political debate. I come to read auto news. Please don’t take sides. Just report.

    As for my answer on has it been as success. Short term…yes. People are back at work and the domestic’s we love are still here, even if one is now Italian. However, the government loaned money it did not have. So who bails the US government out when it goes bankrupt?

  3. Great post. Bankruptcy had a big downside for Detroit — huge, painful restructuring with no guarantee Chrysler or GM would come out the other side and jobs would be saved. The bailouts preserved jobs and paid a dividend to taxpayers. And, btw, those workers pay taxes instead of collecting unemployment.

  4. Ooops! Confused my former VPs. This is why I don’t run for president. Thanks Hollerin!

  5. Pssst! TG, it was Al Gore who said he invented the Internet, which led some to conclude that Quayle must have invented the spell-checker.

  6. I was against the bailout when it was going down… quite passionately, if I remember correctly! But it worked. Today I have to say that I was wrong. I still believe the hole left by a liquidated GM would have been filled, eventually, by other automakers, but the revival of the domestics has been beneficial for the country as a whole.
    Regarding Mitt’s comment: Anyone else reminded of Quayle’s “I invented the Internet” gaffe?

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