Both Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) will speak before the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan today. Michigan, of course, is the epicenter of the United States automobile industry, which was rescued by the Obama administration.
At the time, both Perry and Romney opposed rescuing the American auto industry, preferring to watch iconic American companies topple into an uncontrolled bankruptcy, not only destroying themselves, but all of the supplier and contractors that depend on them. In a November 2008 op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Romney wrote:
If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.
Not to be left out, Perry co-authored an op-ed in December 2008 opposing the auto rescue:
Recent government intervention is doing the opposite — taking capital generated from productive activities and throwing it at enterprises that in many cases need to reorganize their business model.
Take for example the proposed Big Three auto-maker bailout. We think it’s very telling that each of the three CEO’s flew on their own private jets to Washington to ask for a taxpayer handout. No amount of taxpayer largess could fix a business culture so fundamentally flawed.
The two Republican frontrunners would have seen the auto industry collapse, taking tens of thousands of jobs with it. Maybe that’s why Romney has since tried to scramble and claim that, when it came to saving the auto industry, he “had the idea first.”