Michigan, Mitt Romney — January 24, 2012 at 11:03 am

Mitt Romney’s “Michigan Problem”


Regrets, I’ve had a few…

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has a problem. A Michigan Problem. It’s not just that he penned an op-ed for the New York Times calling for the bankruptcy of our domestic vehicle manufacturers. It’s not just that he then doubled down on that statement in one of the presidential debates. It’s not just that, as former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm put it, if he had been president in 2009, our state would be far worse off than it is now (and it ain’t in very good shape at the moment as it is.)

No, it’s also because just last December, he mocked the technology behind latest piece of awesomeness to come out of Detroit: the Ford Fusion.

What’s the Ford Fusion? Just the car that won Autoweek’s Best in Show vehicle at the Detroit International Auto Show a couple of weeks ago. It’s a plug-in hybrid electric car and it is beautiful.

What did Romney say about the technology that led to the creation of the plug-in hybrid electric car? THIS:

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was born in Detroit, but critics say he’s turned his back on the industry that has long-defined the Motor City.

The latest example, they say, occurred last night when a caller on a Boston-area talk radio program asked Romney how he would describe the Chevrolet Volt.

“The Chevrolet Volt? Let’s see. An idea whose time has not come,” Romney said, chuckling.

To quote former GOP contender Rick Perry: Oops.

The impetus for the design and manufacture of these new hyper fuel-efficient vehicles are federal mileage standards that have been heavily promoted by the Obama administration. These cars also will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, another target for the Obama adminstration. Not missing an opportunity to kick Detroit once again, Romney has vowed to repeal these environmental standards, standards that are spurring innovation and the current success of our domestic auto companies, if he is elected.

The EPA wants to be able to get in and grab more power and basically try and move the whole economy away from oil, gas, coal, nuclear and push it into the renewables. Look, we all like the renewables. But renewables alone are not going to power this economy. And yeah, I would, among other things, I would get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks. Look, that was not a pollutant within the meaning of the legislation that authorized the EPA. It is of all the agencies in Washington, it is the one most being used by this President to try and hold down, crush and insert the federal government into the life of the private sector.

The Sierra Club released a statement this week that says, in part:

“Right now, thousands of Michiganders are at work building fuel-efficient cars that are helping the American auto industry stay competitive, keeping the air we breathe cleaner, and getting families further on a tank of gas,” said Tony Cani, National Political Director for the Sierra Club. “By rejecting the standards that have given the industry a boost, Mitt Romney is ignoring the needs of his home state and embracing the reckless agenda of the most extreme elements of his party. The people of Michigan deserve to know where Romney stands, and it is not on their side.”

For someone who claims to be such a savvy businessman, Mitt Romney sure acts like his crystal ball is broken.

I’m sure Michigan voters will reward him handsomely when the time comes.

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