Ohio GOP Senate Candidate Wants New Plan To ‘Rescue The Auto Industry,’ But Admits Original Rescue Worked

The rescue of the American auto industry is likely to play a large role in the 2012 Ohio Senate race, where incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) will face a challenge from Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R). After Michigan, Ohio has the nation’s second largest auto industry, and the success of the auto rescue has been felt by suppliers and manufacturers across the state.

Since the 2008 rescue, America’s auto industry has rebounded, adding thousands of jobs, gaining market share, and posting record profits. Perhaps Mandel has missed those facts, because at the formal announcement of his Senate campaign Thursday, he hinted that he would be proposing a new plan to “rescue the auto industry,” the Youngstown Vindicator reports:

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said he is developing a plan to “rescue the auto industry.”

When asked about the $82 billion government bailout of General Motors and Chrysler in 2009, Mandel said in a Thursday call to The Vindicator, “Our economy has not yet been rescued. So many people are still out of work.” […]

I’m not saying the bailout didn’t work,” Mandel said.

“Mandel’s claim to be putting together a plan to rescue the industry is a laughably candid example of how completely clueless he is as to what’s going on with Ohio’s middle class and how he’ll say anything to get elected,” Brown spokesperson Justin Barasky told the Vindicator.

It’s unclear why, given the success of the original auto rescue, Mandel thinks a second is necessary. He didn’t offer any further details, only saying the “rescue” plan would be rolled out over the next six months as part of a larger manufacturing plan. He has not offered a formal position on the original auto rescue, though it was opposed by other statewide Republicans like Gov. John Kasich. His campaign did not respond to a request for details on his rescue plan, or to clarify his position on the original auto rescue.