GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is trailing in the polls in Michigan ahead of that state's February 28 primary, and the former Mass. Governor thinks the way to close the gap is to bash the bailout of the auto industry in 2009 that saved General Motors and Chrysler from being broken up and liquidated in bankruptcy court.

Romney's timing is tough, what with GM's setting an all-time record profit for 2011.

Polls have suggested that despite the obvious benefit from the bailout to Michigan, state residents have been divided about whether Uncle Sam should have stepped in to keep the automakers in tact.

My big beef with Romney is not that he opposes the bailout in principle (though he did support the bailout of Wall Street), but that he fictionalizes events of 2009 when GM and Chrysler went through bankruptcy. Romney asserts that the companies could have gone through a managed bankruptcy without the help of the federal government. Not true.

Perhaps a better tack for Romney would be to suggest that as long as GM is making such huge profits the company might pay back some of the loans granted it under President Bush. GM got billions before the bankruptcy that it is not required to pay back.

Read my entire column about Romney's odd take on history at HuffingtonPost Detroit.


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  • 254 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Kurt
        • 2 Years Ago
        Not correct. Capital would have been made available but there would have been strings attached, like renegotiation of labor contracts, contraction of model lines, consolidation of suppliers, etc. AND, the BIG AND, the stock holders would not have been FLEECED for TENS OF BILLIONS of private equity. This is another big government intervention where it did not belong....
          billfrombuckhead
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Kurt
          BS, there wasn't capital available for SAAB, why would there magically be money on Wall Street to help GM and Chrysler? It's just another Republican fairytale. The success at GM and Chrysler proves the Republicans aren't all that great at economics or management. ART NARDELLI AND THE CHAINSAW CAPITALISTS HAD THEIR CHANCE AT CHRYSLER AND FAILED!
        Scr
        • 2 Years Ago
        They didn't even look for capital because the gubmit was going to bail them out.
        1454
        • 2 Years Ago
        Bankruptcy isn't inherently evil you idiot. Bankruptcy does not = going out of business. You're the brain damaged retard because you actually believe that one party will actually fix anything. YOU"RE THE PROBLEM. Sincerely GFY.
      Todd Dunning
      • 2 Years Ago
      Truly a low point for Autoblog. Or is it Air America?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Todd Dunning
        [blocked]
      billfrombuckhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      Conservatives or whatever they call themselves these days are increasingly bitter as oppostion to the auto bailout has blown up up in the Republican party's face. GM lives, Bin Laden is dead! Pass it on!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        [blocked]
        DrEvil
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Conservatives = Rabid Hate-Mongering Zealots = Anti-Obama Jihadists.
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        show a little empathy. it must be hard to be lead by losers. one is worse than the next one...who can take this party serious anymore. i know i can't and any educated mind follows.
        1454
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        It's funny listening to you one-siders talk. "Oh, insert political affiliation here, is going to save us all" or "opposite political party here, is the root of all the problems". IT"S MORONS LIKE YOU THAT ARE THE F---ING PROBLEM.!!!!!!!!!!!!! OUR POLITICIANS ARE JUST A REFLECTION OF IT"S ELECTORATE, YOU, NOT ME, AS IT IS YOU THAT VOTED FOR THESE DIMWITS. (I don't vote on principle, not like my wasted vote could counter the millions of morons such as yourself) GM would have lived without the "bailout". Chrysler, probably not, but they have been in trouble since long before Daimler bought them. So your idiotic point is invalid. Please do the world a favor, and STFU.
          KSH
          • 2 Years Ago
          @1454
          "You're the root of the problem"... "I don't vote on prinicple". Wait, what?
      AngeloD
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't read Autoblog expecting to see a political editorial. If I am going to be subjected to pro-Democratic party, leftist political propaganda I'll stop visiting this site. Yes..yes..yes..you're pro-Obama...we get it. Spare us the political crap
        Paul
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AngeloD
        Reciting the facts of Romney's statements is not editorializing.....Do you not agree?
          AngeloD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Paul
          This is not simply reciting the facts about Romney's statement: Quoting from the Autoblog article: "...My big beef with Romney is not that he opposes the bailout in principle (though he did support the bailout of Wall Street), but that he fictionalizes events of 2009 when GM and Chrysler went through bankruptcy..." BTW, I supported the Federal Government providing "Debtor in Posession" financing for a rapid bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler. The only part I disagreed with was screwing the secured bondholders of GM and Chrysler, and the taxpayers by giving an equity stake to the UAW. This violated the black letter law of bankruptcy and rewarded people who should be grateful to have a decent job of any kind. (And I drive a Chrysler vehicle)
        Chris A.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AngeloD
        God forbid you read something that you disagree with. Which you simply could choose not to read if it bothers you that much. I don't particularly care for the coverage of the Barrett Jackson auctions, so I ignore it. If you can't cope with running across a political opinion that differs from your own, well, I feel sorry for you. I don't read Autoblog comments expecting to see the ranting of a GOP nut, but I won't stop visiting the site over it. What's funny is that this article isn't pro-Obama or "leftist" (like that's a bad word). It's factual. The bailouts worked. GM and Chrysler are profitable again. You may disagree with how they were done, or feel that the government shouldn't have been involved, but you cannot deny the results. Or the fact that they were started by Bush. It was a bipartisan effort. And it's lunacy for Romney to continue trumpeting that he opposed them while campaigning in Michigan. If anything, he should shut up about the bailouts and focus on something else. He can bang the bailout drum in more heavily Republican states that didn't stand to lose much if Detroit went under.
          AngeloD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Chris A.
          I read political editorials that I disagree with every day. Why am I being subjectd to the same political editorials on an auto website? Isn't there anywhere these hardcore leftists feel they can just "let it go" and not evangalize everyone within earshot about thier holy crusade to re-elect Obama? Strident, shrill, humorless bunch they are, like Amway salesmen even.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AngeloD
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Lachmund
          • 2 Years Ago
          good comment. calling the one side nazis is the same niveau as calling the other side marxists or communists.
        Brendan OConnor
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AngeloD
        Oh no! Is someone saying something negative about a republican party member?!?! They must be on the far left! There is no way that someone can just look at the facts and make an informed decision!
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, I didn't realize I logged onto CNN.com THIS IS AUTOBLOG DAMMIT
        flychinook
        • 2 Years Ago
        @CarCrazy24
        The article is about a current political figure's opinions of the AUTO INDUSTRY bailout. Romney is running for president, so it's nice to know how he would be likely to handle something directly related to the AUTO INDUSTRY. The automobile industry makes automobiles. Autoblog blogs about automobiles. It ain't rocket surgery.
          Lachmund
          • 2 Years Ago
          @flychinook
          problem is they are getting desperate since every little one of their candidates seems to be a douche and won't stand a chance against obama and they know it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Renaurd
        • 2 Years Ago
        Turdbucket.
        Quen47
        • 2 Years Ago
        No. They are building good cars. In the US no less. So... no
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        mikey683
        • 2 Years Ago
        I see your boy cutting American workers now? God your a moron. What you hate them because FOX told you too? Tell us specifically why a boycott? Have any idea?
      billfrombuckhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      Rich Republican wills tell any lie for money, that's what they really stand for. Poor Republicans will repeat any lie to get a table scrap or to fellate a richie. "Free market"= fixed game. There are no actual free markets in the real world, this ideal only exists at rightwing think tanks and university classrooms. None of America's competitors are beating America because they have purer capitalist system but because they have more socialist system.
        Kurt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Bill, you either forgot your medication today or you are delusional. You are taking the term "free markets" to mean literally "free" markets. While there is no pure "free market" except between two parties in a transaction, a market free from needless government intervention where mechanisms and process to handle such situations already exists, is what we used to have.... That's to the man from HOPE AND CHANGE, he has changed the game and I can only hope we survive his meddling...
        nonosh
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Democrats lie as much as Republicans lie. Free markets are the true wealth redistribution havens for true greater good. The consumer and supplier are the regulators in such a setting. If you want honesty and integrity, vote third party. The old guard is rotten and corrupt. I don't agree with any party in full, but my closest match has been Libertarian party. Fair in the market and fair in the personal life.
      Scr
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am disappoint. I expect this kind of made-up drivel over at Jalopnik, but I guess Ariana is getting all up in your grilles now. No wonder why AOL is bleeding views. Facts are facts, which this 'author' ignores: GM and Chrysler could have easily went through a traditional managed bankrupcies and would have been much better off than they are now. The government loans were not a terrible idea as that sort of thing happens all the time, and we the taxpayers actually make money off of them. The equity share was a colossal mistake, and the UAW geting shares was in fact illegal. Those share rightfully belong to the investors and suppliers who had contracted investments with GM and Chrysler, meaning they were to get first dibs on ownership shares if they defaulted. But Obama's union buddies got them instead, what a deal! Now, Mr. Taxpayer is getting royally screwed by our equity shares to the tune of BILLLIONS of dollars. GM could have restructured either without the UAW, or have renegotiated the contracts after the bankruptcies to finally get rid of the heathcare plan and the enormous pension liability, which still threatens GM to this day. They could have handed the UAW a giant pile of cash and said to them "here, you deal with it". The albatross is still around their neck. Luckily, FIAT stepped in with Chrysler, but GM could have EASILY self financed their own traditional bankruptcy. Look for another GM bailout in a few years when the 'old GM' mentality returns and the UAW wants the concessions back...and then some. It's already starting.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        [blocked]
        simbadogg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scr
        Can you tell me what wall street institution (those that typically would have supplied the capital for structured bankruptcies) would have supplied the cash necessary for the bailout during the middle of the credit crunch that was 2009? Lehman brothers? Goldman Sachs? I never post here to be honest, but this is one of the most absurd comments i've read in a long time.
          Scr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @simbadogg
          It's called private equity and venure capital, not large wall street banks. There were plenty of private firms including suppliers that would have bought into a new GM if it had a proper bankruptcy. There was no credit crunch for private equity. You obviouly have no understanding how business finance works. Not everything is done by or through a bank. And GM had more than enough cash and property to self-finance a restructuring with the aid of short-term government LOANS, not government EQUITY INVESTMENT. All that was needed was the restructuring of the debt burden from the union health care and pension system and to massively streamline their operations, which they could not do with the current labor contract. The pension and health care burden are still there, which why GM isn't out of the woods. GM still had operational cash flow, it was their long term obligations that was doing them in. Chrysler was in worse shape, but FIAT stepped in, and the rest could have been done with government loans and other PRIVATE investment.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      FauxNews watchers, dittoheads, conservatives, tea partiers, libertarians, Republicans, whatever, they all live in some magic fantasy land that never has existed and never can exist. These rightwingers tolerate reality like vampires tolerate sunlight.
        Big Squid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Obama has been in office 3 years. The deficit is twice as big, unemployment is still high, there are still troops fighting foreign wars all over, no bankers have gone to jail, the TSA is still molesting people, the prison at Guantanemo Bay is still open for business, and I haven't had a raise in five years. My dollar is worth less, and my kids will die before the debt is paid off. Thanks, liberals.
          Kevin Potts
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Big Squid
          Big Squid...why is the deficit twice as big? Where's the money going? Better yet before Obama was in office...where was the money going that caused a deficit in first place? Lets see...which do you prefer...warmongering in the Middle East? or bailing out America?
        Jason Allen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Right on the mark. It must be true because every repulican says what rush says and what fox says repeats what the candidates say and the repetition becomes a mantra with out ever being based on facts. Everything I get here or hear from 'conservatives' anywhere are lies about the state of the economy and fear mongering about any wedge issue they can think of. I guess the 1 guy talked well about monetary policy but that is the rare exception (I'm not sure I'd agree it's that high on the to-do list). But there is no substance to the immense negativity I hear claimed all the effing time! What the hell has Obama actually done, in concrete terms as opposed to vitriol and diatribe. I bring up salient points earlier and no one can make any counter-claim about any issue I mention. They have nothing and that is why they cry so much.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        [blocked]
      Travis Miles
      • 2 Years Ago
      Will the Real Mitt Romney please stand up. He knows no money was to be had during that time by anyone. He is only being disengious in order to appear as a conservative. The truth of the matter is that not even McDonald's, an undeniably wealthy corporation, could not secure commercial paper. and Mitt Romney is not a conservative.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      billfrombuckhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      Like Clint Eastwood said, " the world is going to hear the roar of our engines." Think about all the great cars that came out of the bailout such as the Camaro, Grand Cherokee, Cruze, Equinox, Charger, 300, ATS, Pentastar Wrangler, Durango and more on the way. The scrappy return of American icons GM and Chrysler under Obama has refuted rightwing ideology and the knuckledraggers are quite bitter when forced to face reality.
        Big Squid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        The cars you speak of were designed and on the way before the bailout. Chrysler is now owned by foreigners, and GM is worth half of what the taxpayer paid for it.
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