Proving that he is nothing if not predictable, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich blamed the United Auto Workers for the loss of American manufacturing jobs at a recent campaign appearance. Automotive News reports that Gingrich lauded the BMW factory in Spartanburg, SC, for being "vibrant" and mentioned Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan in a positive light, while blaming the UAW for impeding continuous improvement at domestic automakers. The UAW did not respond to a request for comment, according to the report.
While we wouldn't expect Gingrich to behave any differently towards his political enemies in the union, we will say that the loss of manufacturing jobs is a far more complicated subject than this or any other soundbite can explain. And for all the attention that the auto industry continues to receive from politicians hoping to score points with voters, we remain appalled at how little those on both sides of the aisle actually know about the business.