Romney Claims Credit for Auto Industry Resurgence

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.

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President Romney and the Auto Biz

Romney and Rambler in 2007

Running for President, 2007, with Rambler

If he does become president, where would Mitt Romney finally stand on the auto industry? Of course, we don’t know, because the Governor’s past words on the subject are always open to revision. Still, given his present course, we can predict.

The big bomb he dropped back in 2008 was his “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” piece in the New York Times. I had my say about that in May of last year. So have many others.

Prediction 1: Romney as president would be as open to “course correction” as he has been in the past. Meaning that he could not afford to take on the auto industry. There is too much money involved, and the auto companies now have political clout.

Romney’s recent remarks about the need to kill the EPA’s efforts to control emissions—Obama’s effort to “hold down and crush” private enterprise—are a case in point. In 2004 the Governor endorsed California’s tough standards, which the Obama administration subsequently made law, with the agreement of the auto industry.

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