Shake, shake, shake…
In his ongoing effort to obliterate his past and recreate a new vision of himself, Mitt Romney has again revised history. This time, it’s HIS story, the one where he used to say “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”.
In an interview published today in the Detroit News, Romney now says the federal government should have helped the domestic automakers after all. Except, in this new version, it should have been after they had gone through bankruptcy.
He’s also suggesting that the federal government should cash in remaining GM stock immediately, incurring a loss to the American taxpayers of nearly $50 billion, and that by not doing so, President Obama is playing politics.
There is no reason for the government to continue to hold (its GM stake),” Romney, a Detroit native and son of an auto executive, said Friday.
“The president is delaying the sale of the shares to try and avoid the story that the taxpayer took another loss. I would get the company independent from government and run for the interests of the consumer and the enterprise and its workers — not for the political considerations of government officials.” [...]
Romney said the Democrats are “distorting” his record on the auto bailout, whose government-imposed conditions included filing bankruptcy.
“If they needed help coming out of bankruptcy and government support, that was fine, but I was not in favor of the government writing billions of dollars in checks prior to them going into bankruptcy,” he said.
His accusation that trying to save the American taxpayers nearly $50 billion is some sort of crass political move is obviously absurd. It strains the bounds of credulity to suggest that one of his first moves as President would be to take action that would incur that kind of loss.
His historical revisionism was immediately pounced on by Democrats across the board. Obama for America campaign spokesperson Matt McGrath issued the following statement:
The last time Gov. Romney weighed in on the future of the auto industry, it was to suggest that we let Detroit go bankrupt, a betrayal no Michigander is likely soon to forget. As someone who was dead wrong about the industry’s present, Mitt Romney is the last person who should be offering advice about its future.
Former Governor Jennifer Granholm responded with this:
Gov. Romney obviously hasn’t read a Michigan newspaper lately. President Obama’s intervention saved the auto industry and has made Michigan the comeback story of the country. No one will forget that Mitt Romney urged letting Detroit go bankrupt.No one will forget that Romney stabbed his home state in the back in our hour of need. And his trickle-down, laissez-faire approach to the economy would take us right back to those dark days.
Finally, Congressman Sander Levin issued this statement:
Mitt Romney’s latest tortured defense of his call to ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt’ is even more outlandish than the last ten times he tried to explain why he turned his back on Michigan. The simple fact is that GM and Chrysler would never have survived long enough to undergo a private bankruptcy without the federal rescue loans. Mitt Romney knows he was wrong, and now that the auto industry is coming back and creating jobs, his attempts to rewrite history are getting more desperate every day.
Shake, shake, shake that Etch-a-Sketch all you want, Mr. Romney. The people of Michigan will never forget that you turned your back on Michigan when it was at its most desperate. And we know who was there, making the hard-but-correct decisions: President Barack Obama.
[Image credit: Chris Savage | Eclectablog]