If you want to know exactly what Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney thinks about the Chevrolet Volt, listen to his laugh before he answers a question about the car posed to him during a radio interview on WRKO in Boston recently. Romney was asked what he thought about the car, and he responded with a dismissive-sounding laugh by labeling the plug-in hybrid an "idea whose time has not come." He later explained that his attitude is proved correct by the Volt's low sales numbers. Whatever the reason, he clearly does not approve of the car.

Romney's criticism should play well with the conservative base that dislikes the Volt, but it's not probably going to help him win Michigan, where the Volt was designed and is built. Local media outlets are already dinging the former Governor of Massachusetts and Michigan native son for criticizing the breakthrough hybrid. As a United Auto Workers leader at the Volt plant said on a recent conference call, "It's not an idea that is ahead of its time. It's behind its time. It should have been here [years ago] so we wouldn't be dependent on foreign oil." Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) tweeted her disapproval: "My blood is boiling: Romney attacks the Volt, a FANTASTIC U.S. car made in his home state by American workers"

Romney has long been critical of the DOE's advanced vehicle technology loans (which were given to Fisker, Ford, Nissan and Tesla, among others) and the auto industry bailout. Both of those programs were started under President George Bush but are often associated with President Obama. In 2008, Romney wrote an op-ed titled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," so his aversion to federal support for the industry is anything new.

You can hear Romney laugh about the Volt at the beginning of the video embedded after the jump, or you can listen to his entire 20-minute WRKO interview here.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 137 Comments
      Ford Future
      • 3 Years Ago
      EV/Hybrids, the Volt, give you: - Energy Independence - Local Profits, for a local company, creating local demand. - Electric Utility profit - and/or Solar Panel manufacturer and installer profit. Or You can fund the Saudi Oil Cartel, which funded the 9/11 terrorists. That's how right wing I am, I'm so Left I'm further right then the "right".
        JeremyD
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Ford Future
        Yes, but we need to allow rich people to continue to pay lower taxes than everyone else, that creates the most jobs right? Not energy independence... right? My god, are the people that buy into this crap brainwashed? They have to be, because they cant possibly be that stupid right? In case they aren't, lets cut school funding too, just to be safe.
        Mike
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Ford Future
        I think only the rich can afford the Volt.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Mike
          The Volt is a bit expensive. But the average price paid for a car these days is $30K. After the tax-credit, the Volt is around $32500. So it is within range of the average car purchase. And then factor in the amount of money you will save on gasoline.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yea Mitt, I just cleared 7150 miles on just 24.5 gals of overseas oil. OnStar estimates that at 288 miles a gallon. What a worthless vehicle. I guess like you I need to support my Oil Companys cause I could be defunding your supporters. I will wait till next summer when gas goes up to $4.00 a gallon. Then I'll have to pay more...Yep, all of 9 gallons to fill my tank. Oh, wait. My last fill-up was the 4th of July, and I just topped off with 7 gallons 3 weeks ago. I won't be out of gas till sometime in the Spring? Nope, Volt was a bad idea for sure!
        • 5 Months Ago
        I always have a bit of a problem with 288 mpg when I am only able to get approx 100 mpg in a EV which uses no gas, according to the EPA. How does the Volt due this, must be some kind of magic.
          PR
          • 5 Months Ago
          Ray, MPG and MPGe measure two completely different things. You cannot compare them directly any more than you can directly compare an EV's kW rating to its kWh rating. The EPA does not rate EV's in MPG, they only rate them in MPGe. The Volt on the other hand, can have BOTH an MPG and an MPGe rating. In fact, a 288 MPG rating on a Volt would roughly translate to somewhere around a 70-80 MPGe rating. (estimated off of voltstats.net measurements of real Volt OnStar reports from real Volt drivers). The EV would get infinity MPG, and 100 MPGe, and would not have any range-extended capabilities. Tex's Volt gets 288 MPG, and 70-80 MPGe, and in exchange for burning some gas Tex gets unlimited range-extended capabilities. That's a very good trade-off when comparing to a gasser, if someone needs that unlimited range-extended capability.
      OldSalt
      • 3 Years Ago
      garylai, you are confusing two different ways of getting at shale oil. The method you described of open pit mining is what was tried 30 years ago and failed. Hydro fracking the shale at depths of 10,000 feet is what is being done at the Bakken field. The other major find, Marcellus field, has the shale some 3000 to 9000 feet below the surface. What acquifers are belove that garylai? Inform the group. Quick answer, there are NONE. No aquifer issue at all. Look at the oil wells in Bakken, oil rigs to extract the stuff, no open mines anywhere. The price of oil is around $100 and that makes shale oil viable. Do you think all of a sudden the price will decline enough to stop oil shale as described above? Given we live in near recessionary times the price of oil is likely to climb steeply should there be solid economic growth like we had in the Clinton-Bush eras. Then oil shale becomes even more viable. You're wrong on how shale oil is extracted, wrong on the ground water levels and wrong on the economics.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @OldSalt
        Tell the people in these towns how safe fracking is... 1: Sublette County, Wyoming was the first site of groundwater contamination to be documented by a federal agency, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, in 2008. Water from more than 88 drinking wells was contaminated and found to contain benzene, a chemical that causes leukemia, at concentrations up to 1,500 times a safe level. 2: The town of Dimock, Pennsylvania began to have water bottles delivered to them by Cabot Oil & Gas after the company’s fracking contaminated the entire town’s water supply in 2009. Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (D.E.P.) began to investigate after people felt dizzy whenever they showered, when their “water started turning brown and making them sick, one woman’s water well spontaneously combusted, and horses and pets mysteriously began to lose their hair.” 3: Duke University scientists collected water samples from 68 wells in New York and Pennsylvania, finding unsafe levels of methane. According to the report, which was released in the National Academy of Sciences, the closer a sampled well was to active natural gas drilling, the higher the methane level within the well, especially if the well was shallow. 4: A blowout in Bradford County, Pennsylvania sent 30,000 gallons of fracking fluid into the Susquehanna River Watershed, which serves the Chesapeake Bay and more than 6 million people. As a result of the spill, Chesapeake Energy is facing a lawsuit from the state of Maryland. 5: The people of the Pittsburgh region were advised by D.E.P. officials in 2008 to drink only bottled water during a drought because wastewater produced by fracking was at dangerous levels in the Monongahela river.
        Chris M
        • 5 Months Ago
        @OldSalt
        The very process of hydraulic fracturing is to break open the rocks with high pressure water and chemicals. But they can't control the direction of those cracks, and many of those cracks go straight UP to aquifers thousands of feet ABOVE the oil fields. That's when the troubles start...
        Ele Truk
        • 5 Months Ago
        @OldSalt
        How convenient that the Republicans want to get rid of EPA, that way Oil companies can pollute and contaminate everthing to their pocket's content.
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @OldSalt
        And you are whitewashing the whole process. They inject a water/chemical mix into the well and put it under high pressure to break the rocks (that is the 'hydrofracking'). Then that water comes back up. What do you think they do with all those millions of gallons of poisoned water? Well, what often happens is they contract that lowest-bidding 'disposal company' that just then hauls the water away in a truck . . . and opens up a valve and dumps the poisoned water onto some rural road in the middle of the night. The ground water becomes poisoned and it is some great mystery as to how it happened. At best they take the water to waste treatment plant but many of the waste treatment plants are over-loaded. "Given we live in near recessionary times the price of oil is likely to climb steeply should there be solid economic growth" But here is the problem . . . we are stuck because we can't get economic growth with such high oil prices. Especially when we are paying those high prices to people outside of the USA.
      Ladson
      • 3 Years Ago
      A vote for this politician will be a vote to continue the oil company and the 1% of rich people's control of the Government. Back to George Bush's World we will go.
      JIM
      • 5 Months Ago
      Hey Romney, , Just go buy a Leaf and a Prius and send American dollars to Japan! What an idiot?
        Chris M
        • 5 Months Ago
        @JIM
        Oh, he'd never do that, he'd just buy another gas guzzling luxury car, maybe a Mercedes or a Rolls. Then he'd make a play for the "Drill Baby Drill" crowd by gassing it up and crowing about how much US oil he's burning...
      • 5 Months Ago
      I'm a lifetime Republican. I never believed in an oil company conspiracy to kill off competition with propaganda until I actually drove and then purchased a Volt. Not only do I love the car, love the torque, love the silence, but this is my monthly gas spend before and after the Volt. 1/11 - $384.17 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 2/11 - $346.18 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 3/11 - $417.10 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 4/11 -$406.91 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 5/11 - $439.99 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 6/11 - $537.65 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 7/11 - $356.95 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 8/11 - $222.85 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 9/11 - $293.04 (2008 Honda Accord V6). 10/11- $29.63 (Volt Month). 11/11 - $53.27 (Volt Month). 12/11 - $18.51 (Volt Month).
      Mike
      • 5 Months Ago
      I don't know why he's saying this when the Volts are priced at $40,000 and selling like hot cakes.....yea
        superduckz
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Mike
        Shhhh... you're not supposed to bring facts into this discussion.
      ronwagn
      • 5 Months Ago
      A Rambler would be a better car for the money.
      Mark Schaffer
      • 5 Months Ago
      The man is a moron.
        Spec
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Mark Schaffer
        Mitt is clearly not a moron. But he is out of touch with the average American and he has no understanding of the impending oil crunch.
          Chris M
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Spec
          He suffers from the Millionaire CEO syndrome - he was born in wealth, grew up surrounded by wealth, went to exclusive schools with other wealthy kids, associates with the rich country club set, and all his friends are wealthy. He has no idea how the middle class lives, let alone the working class poor. That explains his views and politics, favoring the rich, screw everyone else.
      paulwesterberg
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mitt Romney is a politician whose time has not come.
      Michael
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thanks Mitt, you've made my decision easier come November if you make it through the primaries. No way no how could I vote for someone that can't look to the future, it's what a leader does. I haven't been totally satisfied with President Obama, but alas I will be stuck with yet another election where my choices are between the lesser of two evils as always seems to be the case.
      brotherkenny4
      • 3 Years Ago
      Mitt's statement is simply an unapologetic attempt to tap the republican base which get's it's marching orders from Rush Limbaugh and his bosses. Until the US can get education to actually work we'll always end up with a large segment of the populace that will buy into stupid stuff, and there will always be someone who will pander to their stupidity. It's not just the right either, although FOX has taken it to the extreme, CNN and Oprah have similar strategies to FOX. That being find an audience of dissatified people and then tell them their unhappyness is not their fault, it is someone else causing it, or some disease like ADD or manic depression or some other garbage. Anyway, I don't think Mitt would make a good president, but then I don't see many candidates that would. They will all say something similarly stupid at some point, and it suggests either ineptitude or dishonesty and neither is a good trait. For instance, every politician will say how hard working americans are. Which in general is not true. It is true that some are hard working, but certainly not more than 50%. So are these politician unable to see the truth (ineptitude) or are they pandering (dishonest). Probably a little of both.
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