Will 2008 headline ruin Romney's chances?

Romney made some valid points in his opinion piece calling for an auto industry restructuring. But no one remembers those.

By Kim Peterson Nov 6, 2012 5:21PM
Image: Man changing oil -- Ron Chapple, Getty ImagesFour words have come back to haunt Mitt Romney in his presidential campaign: "Let Detroit go bankrupt."

That's the headline of a 2008 opinion piece Romney wrote in The New York Times. Romney gives the piece an equally incendiary opening: "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye," he wrote. "It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed."

Well, that just didn't happen. The auto industry has roared back after the bailouts and is on track to sell 14.3 million cars and trucks this year, up from 13.3 million last year.

Romney made some valid points in his piece, such as his push for fuel-saving designs and new innovation from other industries. But no one remembers that. Instead, voters in the potential election-swinging state of Ohio remember that President Obama helped orchestrate the auto rescue while Romney favored the restructuring that a bankruptcy would bring.

To be sure, there are other factors weighing on voters' minds in Ohio. But experts say that the auto rescue specifically may have shifted Ohio from a Republican-leaning state to a Democratic-leaning one.

"The auto rescue is popular in Ohio," Paul Beck, a professor emeritus at Ohio State University, told The Times.

Some of the top manufacturing employers in Ohio include Honda (HMC), General Motors (GM) and Ford (F), according to state data. Ohio generated 8.1% of the nation's motor-vehicle production in 2010.

The Center for Automotive research says that some 200,000 jobs in Ohio are tied either directly or indirectly to the auto industry.

Macleans notes that if Romney's 2008 call for bankruptcy ends up hurting him in Ohio, it might mean that some unions are still popular in the United States, even if overall union support is dying. Some lawmakers have been able to successfully go after teachers' unions and other public-sector unions.

"Even though union power probably isn’t coming back, particularly in America, there's still a certain affection for the old-style unions that made it possible for people to work a steady job and retire comfortably -- the kind of thing that is more or less being relegated to the past, partly by choice, partly by changes," writes Jaime Weinman. "If Romney loses, it might be because he didn't get the difference between taking on public-sector unions and taking on the unions that people still kind of like."

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Nov 8, 2012 6:00PM

Mr Romney was a used car salesman which is why he lost. People saw thru his flip flops.

Liar liar pants on fire. Reps should have went with another choice.

Nov 7, 2012 1:18PM

Forget about the past.He is millioniore and successful. GOD bless him.Let him create

good.leaveable paying jobs as he was talking during election. I am sure one of his family-

member would become future president .

Nov 7, 2012 12:45AM
The Mitt Witt could not even win Mass , or Michigan LOL Go figure . I wonder why ? We know him idiots....
Nov 6, 2012 7:43PM
loosing for most of the game and down to the last few minutes and msn throws a hail mary pass. go for it.
Nov 6, 2012 7:41PM
last minute deperation by msn. these chumps will try anything, lol.
Nov 6, 2012 7:16PM
think its a wash with obama's 2007 black ministers rant. and romney WAS NOT being rascist against the autoworkers.
Nov 6, 2012 6:57PM

Does anyone know who Macleans is?


He has a statement attributed to him, but darned if I can tell who macleans is. And Jaime Weinman.....writes, but for what reason and when..... how are we to know who in heck they are and if they even have any knowledge about the things they write about? They could just as easily post 'johnnyt says Blah, blah, blah about blah, blah, blah'. If we're to believe we're getting an opinion from a respected person on the subject, we should at least be given a little backround about the person.

Nov 6, 2012 6:50PM
We have come to this. SAD! Look at the big picture - not a friggin' snap in a media piece. THINK FOR YOURSELVES for the love of above. Text and scant statements are not meaningful.
Nov 6, 2012 6:44PM

Romney can't win.  He is way too wishey washey,so there.

Nov 6, 2012 6:39PM
Nov 6, 2012 6:39PM
"Well if Obummer's broken promises didn't hurt him,such as gonna cut the nat'l debt in half, unemployment rate gonna be 5.2%, etc.etc.etc..."

First... your continual use of trailer-trash names for the President demonstrates your extremist need to be racist and detachment from Reality. He IS your President. He WILL be for another 4 years. As for your issues... nearly the whole world has unemployment issues. We are experiencing a time of change and shift. I don't think President Obama realized just how much DEBT George W. Bush left for the next President to pay. Why THAT MAN isn't in GITMO is beyond me. Perhaps our President is too busy rebuilding the foundation that fool lost, to worry about incarcerating him. We have made a good deal of progress but the issues are huge. I for one am not willing to listen to a guy who shipped jobs overseas and believe he can create them. Even Romney's state-- Massachusetts voted for Obama by a margin of more than 30%. What makes you so supportive when they were First-Person to his abilities?
Nov 6, 2012 6:37PM
According to a Wall Street Journal review of 77 Bain investments from 1984 to 1999, 22% filed for bankruptcy or shuttered within eight years. Of the 10 biggest moneymakers -- composing 70% Bain's profits -- four ended in bankruptcy.< Ya ok i see the MITT WITT knows a few things about bankruptcy. But his way is killing American jobs as you can see America. And the dates ? This was during a robust economy. The roring 90s ..LOL So much for a job creator..
Nov 6, 2012 6:34PM
Nov 6, 2012 6:29PM

Let's get Obama out of office.  He is nothing but a puppet for the UN.  He has done nothing for us besides spend OUR MONEY!!  Please people do the right thing and get him out of office.

Nov 6, 2012 6:28PM
"How did it ruin Romney's chances"

It's commonsense. He wasn't qualified to run in the first place but he sold his soul to "dark money" and it lifted him above all those others-- who weren't much better, but that's another story... Romney isn't good for America. We just spent all that time watching him answer questions. When he seized the moment, it was always a bumble or alarm-- later retracted or flip-flopped.

Times are tough. Do you want a President who starts WWIII and then reconsiders, or a guy who is able to work with every GOP jerk trying to stop him and still got things done?
Nov 6, 2012 6:26PM

Obamba did not save the auto industry he simply bought GM & Chrysler to pay back the UAW investment in his presidency.


A restructering would have made more sense and would have eliminated legacy costs that are still unsustainable long term by US manufactures. Meanwhile transplant assemblers in North America have non of these costs and continue to gain market share in North America with no unions or legacy investments.


This is a dumb sticking point and has never been explained to the American public in a way they can understand. FORD realized they did not want to be beholding to any goverment loans for a good reason.


 In 1979 after the Crysler bailout legislations was written so that the Feds could never again invest in private industry. Politicians will say and do whatever is neccesary to stay in office and are little more than grand story tellers!

Nov 6, 2012 6:26PM
"Black Jesus"  Really ! Just another racisest. How sad
Nov 6, 2012 6:22PM
Romney isn't going to win. Here's why. The Erasable Board the Judge uses has Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers at the top and a bunch of arrows to other corruption. We don't need a guy who stashed his cash in the Caymans and hung around with trash like these people.

Untraceable funds given by anonymous donors have been given the name "dark money." These donor groups have been able to exploit gaps between election authorities and the IRS, enabling millions of anonymous dollars to be spent on political campaigns.

The 2012 presidential campaign has seen spending by outside groups on political ads reach an unprecedented level, much of it on political ads, the most vicious of which are often funded by so-called dark money: untraceable funds given by anonymous donors. Unlike super PACs, the groups receiving the bulk of that cash, so-called "social welfare nonprofits," are allowed to keep their donors secret forever.

Well, at least that had been the case until this past Friday, when a Montana judge granted a request by ProPublica and PBS Frontline to release the bank records of one such group, the Western Tradition Partnership, on the grounds that citizens have a right to know where the campaign cash was coming from.

ProPublica and PBS did the heavy lifting, so we'll what that means:

"It was the first time that a court has ordered a modern dark money group's donors to be made public, firing a warning shot to similar organizations engaged in politics."

Nov 6, 2012 6:19PM
Well if Obummer's broken promises didn't hurt him,such as gonna cut the nat'l debt in half, unemployment rate gonna be 5.2%, etc.etc.etc... '08 headlines shouldn't hurt Romney.
Nov 6, 2012 6:15PM
B617: If you re-read that article, you will notice that the author doesn't confirm that it HAS ruined Romney's chances- she states "But experts say that the auto rescue specifically may have shifted Ohio from a Republican-leaning state to a Democratic-leaning one." She used a critical phrase in that statement 'MAY HAVE' as in there is a possibility- not that it already has happened. She also states that it based on experts opinions- not necessarily her own. Please take the time to reread the article with an open, unbiased mind before you post false allegations. thank you :)
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