Mitt Romney’s renewed opposition to the rescue that saved the American auto industry, which came in the form of yet another editorial announcing his desire to “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” was immediately slammed by auto industry insiders, reporters who covered the rescue, and even publications that had once taken his same position.
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton (R), who endorsed Romney, has now joined that chorus, telling Western Michigan University’s WMUK radio that turning to the private sector to rescue Detroit as Romney advocated was never an option:
HOST: He wrote an op-ed for the Detroit News in which he said it is good news that U.S. auto companies are back but he questioned the manner in which it was done, the so-called auto bailout. This was a fight that you were knee deep in at the time it was happening. Do you agree with his characterization?
UPTON: I did not see the article that he wrote. I do know that all of the Michigan delegation worked very hard as related to the revival of the auto industry. There was really a choice between bankruptcy and liquidation. There was no one that was willing to come up not only with the cash to keep them afloat but also to serve the warranties of everyone, you and I that drive all these cars. There was no one that could have picked up those pieces other than the federal government.
Later in the interview, Upton disputed Romney’s assertion that the rescue was a President Obama-led bailout of unions, noting that President George W. Bush began the program and that it was “bipartisan from the get-go.” Upton then noted that without the rescue, Michigan “would have hit 40 percent unemployment rates.”
Upton isn’t the only Michigan politician to criticize Romney’s position. Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who also endorsed Romney, told the New York Times last November that the GOP should stop criticizing the auto rescue, saying he wouldn’t “second-guess” it because “the auto industry is doing very well today.” Oddly, both Upton and Snyder have chosen to tout Romney’s economic credentials to Michigan voters while ignoring his factually-challenged opposition to a rescue that saved the state’s largest industry.