Mitt Romney has always claimed his dog was perfectly happy on top of the car. He talks blithely about his wife’s Cadillacs, his dad’s success, his Mustang, his car elevator at the beach house, and every time he talks about cars, he says something stupid.
Last Monday in Cleveland, he went even further:
“I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and finally when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet,” Romney said in an interview inside a Cleveland-area auto parts maker. “So, I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back.”
Echoing another of his boss’s earlier, manic claims, senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom said a few days later: “The only economic success that President Obama has had is because he followed Mitt Romney’s advice.” One wonders how that will play in Detroit and Cleveland.
You all remember, of course, the famous 2008 New York Times op ed in which Mitty argued that the auto industry’s demise would be “virtually guaranteed” if the bailout went through. A litany of Romney comments and contradictions on the bailout can be found here.
So, Bush and Obama put the companies through managed bankruptcy. But indeed, in those dark days there was absolutely no private capital available—a fact documented by such political opposites as Steven Rattner and Bob Lutz. There would have been no success, no turnaround if the government had not stepped in, and everyone should know this.
Why, I wonder, is Mitt raising this issue once again, an issue so transparently phony and refutable? Probably because we have reached the point in our politics where a candidate can say anything, perform any flip-flop, and people will believe him. For proof, scroll down and look at the comments on this Autoblog story.
Romney’s claim just reopens an old wound. It’s like debating how and whether we should have entered World War II.
Would Romney have been better off to admit finally that he was wrong about the bailout?