Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney haven’t always seen eye to eye on the rescue of the auto industry that saved hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Romney has held several positions on the topic: he wrote an editorial calling on the government to “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” before the rescue occurred, then attempted to claim credit for the rescue after it succeeded. He then re-upped his opposition in a Let Detroit Go Bankrupt 2.0 editorial ahead of Michigan’s Republican primary this year.
Throughout it all, Snyder’s opposing view has been clear. Like other Michigan Republicans, Snyder supported the rescue and has applauded its success. Today, though, Snyder dismissed Romney’s opposition, telling Fox News host Neil Cavuto the rescue is “history”:
SNYDER: The auto bailout issue, it’s overblown in my view. It was a very important thing, it got done, it could have been done otherwise. The main point with that is, it got done, it’s history —
CAVUTO: But Mitt Romney was against it. Maybe for all the right reasons, but in a state like yours, could it hurt him?
SNYDER: He talked about different ways to do it, and the point is, it could have been done different ways. But that’s all history. It’s behind us.
Snyder has ignored his differences with Romney on the issue before. When he endorsed Romney before the state’s primary, he didn’t mention Romney’s opposition to the rescue or the jobs it would have cost Michigan and the country.
Romney contends that the private sector should have stepped in and saved General Motors and Chrysler, pushing them toward the managed bankruptcy they eventually went through. But that position ignores the simple fact that government stepped in precisely because the private sector refused to do so. Other Republicans, auto industry insiders, and reporters who covered the auto industry have all dismissed Romney’s view as “reckless,” “dishonest,” and “pure fantasy.”