In light of the new comments made by Romney, I thought it would be interesting to ask Conservatives if Romney deserves credit for the new revitalization seen in the Detroit auto industry.
It seems that the people who had a role in this were President Bush and later President Obama. So why is Romney giving himself credit for bringing the auto-industry back up after suggesting they should be allowed to fail?In the television interview, however, Romney takes his role further than just proposing an idea. Here’s what he said:
“ My own view, by the way, was that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help. And frankly, that’s finally what the president did. He finally took them through bankruptcy. That was the right course I argued for from the very beginning. It was the UAW and the president that delayed the idea of bankruptcy. I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy and finally when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. So I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back.”
But where was Romney when the actual work was taking place on the bailout? As far as I could tell at the time, when I was reporting on the story on a daily basis for The Times, he was not involved in any visible way, beyond speaking about it.
There were Republican players who took part in the discussions, including Tenn. Sen. Robert Corker, who insisted that UAW members’ compensation be adjusted to reflect that of transplant auto workers, such as those he represented. Michigan’s former Republican governor, John Engler, now president of The Business Roundtable, did his best to round up support on Capitol Hill, before a Congressional bailout died in the Senate.
And of course, President George W. Bush got things rolling with the first assistance to the car companies, which kicked in just before Barack Obama took office and moved the ball further down the field.