Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Monday gave himself kudos for the U.S. auto industry’s recovery because he had called to let car companies go bankrupt.
“I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy,” the candidate told Cleveland’s WEWS-TV. “And finally, when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet.”
“So I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back,” he added.
In a 2008 New York Times op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Romney warned that if a bailout was provided to the auto industry then “its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”
But according to Arthur J. Gonzalez, a former federal judge in U.S. bankruptcy court, G.M. and Chrysler only survived because they went into a managed bankruptcy strengthened by the government bailouts that were approved by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
“One thing is clear, without government support in one fashion or another, there were no sources of funding,” Gonzalez told ABC News earlier this year.
Obama campaign co-chair Ted Strickland on Monday responded by claiming that Romney was trying to “fool” voters with “dishonesty.”
“Mitt Romney may think he can fool the American people by hiding his belief that we should ‘let Detroit go bankrupt,’ but the American people won’t let him,” Strickland said. “His comments today that he will ‘take a lot of credit that the [auto] industry has come back’ are a new low in dishonesty, even for him. Mitt Romney seems to think Americans will just forget the past and his very vocal and clear opposition to the successful auto rescue.”
GM posted record profits last year and taxpayers have recovered nearly half of the $50 billion bailout. Chrysler in 2011 posted its first profit since 2005 and has paid back $11.2 billion of the $12.5 billion government loan. The Treasury Department has said that it doesn’t expect to recover the remaining $1.3 billion.
Watch this video from WEWS-TV, broadcast May 7, 2012.
(h/t: Video Cafe)