GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in the state of his birth this week — and receiving an icy reception. Michigan is home to General Motors and Chrysler, two U.S. companies for which the 2009 auto rescue “was seen as a matter of life or death by both parties.” Romney, however, opted for death when the Motor City native penned a op-ed entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” and slammed the rescue as “tragic.” This supposed tragedy, however, allowed Chrysler and GM to restructure and repay over $60 billion in taxpayer loans and add about 50,000 jobs nationwide.
As is his nature, Romney quickly switched positions in light of the rescue’s success and actually claimed last month that he “had the idea first.” However, Michiganders are not buying it. Rep. John Dingell (D) said yesterday that he hopes Romney “has answers for Michigan’s working families he abandoned two years ago” and “threw them under the bus.” Former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm offered a pithier take in her own op-ed titled, “Let Mitt Romney Go Bankrupt.” Now, even Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter is wiping his hands of Romney. McCotter, who “supported the government intervention for General Motors and Chrysler,” sent “a Michigan message to Mitt” on his auto failure:
“Motor City hospitality dictates a Michigan message to Mitt that our struggling families, entrepreneurs and workers think Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama are not rivals, they’re running mates,” McCotter, who is considering his own run for the White House, said in a statement.
Watch video of his remarks:
Of course, President Obama actually delivered the auto rescue McCotter asked for. Conversely, auto industry officials say Romney’s rejection of that rescue “would have led to liquidation and the loss of more than one million jobs nationwide.” McCotter’s argument that Obama and Romney are similar when it comes to their health care plans and beliefs that global warming is a real problem, however, is much more accurate.
Whatever his current positions may be, it’s clear that Romney’s failure to back the auto rescue when it was most needed and his general “anti-auto sentiments” may prompt Michiganders to kick him to the curb. As Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer noted, “I don’t think we’ve seen a less inviting homecoming since LeBron (James) went back to Cleveland.”