By on May 8, 2012

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told voters in Ohio that he deserves “a lot of credit” for the auto industry turnaround since the bailout era.

Romney told the Detroit News

“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,” Romney said in an interview inside a Cleveland-area auto parts maker. “So, I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back.”

What? On what planet does Romney deserve credit? As far as anyone knows, Romney published a New York Times op-ed…and that was it. Romney claims that Obama took his advice on a managed bankruptcy, but there’s no real proof of that ever occurring. Chrysler and GM did go through bankruptcy after a government bailout but their demise looks far from “guaranteed” at this point in time (as Romney put it in his piece). In the same vein, perhaps Romney will take credit for President Obama’s health care plan.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

128 Comments on “Romney Says He Deserves “A Lot Of Credit” For Auto Industry Recovery...”


  • avatar
    aristurtle

    He sure is trying to shake that Etch-A-Sketch.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Can you say “Etch a Sketch”?

  • avatar
    harshciygar

    Taking credit for an auto bailout he opposed.

    Opposing a national healthcare system modeled after one developed in his state, under his watch.

    At least he is consistent in his inconsistency. As far as I am concerned, Bush and Obama deserve credit for saving the U.S. auto industry at the 11th hour. I don’t think there were any other real options on the table.

    Remember Chrysler under Cerberus? They got burned bad; who would want to try again with either company after seeing what happened to them? They got burned for about a billion bucks (and only after selling off Chrysler financial).

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    (Sarcasm On) Wow if only Bain Capital had been around to purchase AMC instead of it falling into the willing arms of Chrysler we’d be driving 2012 Ambassador Broughams instead of Chrysler 300s. (Sarcasm Off)

    Oh and before you flame me remember I’m a “pox on both their houses” kind of guy. I think politicians are like diapers and should be changed frequently and for the same reason.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I’m very quickly becoming a “pox on both their houses” type. You’ll get no flaming from me. Politicians seriously need to shut up and quit trying to believe that we can’t see through them.

      As Nick Lowe said, “all men are liars, and that’s the truth,” so let’s, as the Eagles say, “kill all the lawyers, and kill them tonight.”

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes; “Imagine that you were a complete idiot, then imagine you were a member of Congress. Oh, but wait, I repeat myself.”

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        Sounds like Romney should have followed another famous Mark Twain quote, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

      • 0 avatar
        DemosCat

        Another fun quote:

        “A statesman is a dead politician, and Lord knows we need more statesmen!”

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      Not really — because the true “pox” types immediately ask themselves the obvious question: “where do we get new politicians from?” And then start working at the local level, in some capacity, to back up their words.

      What’s more likely is that, instead, you’re a “keep the free money a-comin\'” kind of guy. Don’t raise too much of a stink, complain about anyone who does, and maybe there’ll be a little Social Security and Medicare left over for ya.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        My local politicians have a surprisingly low incidence cranial-rectal inversion syndrome. And they even answer my e-mails, just like any person with expertise in my community. They must ship the crazy ones off to Washington.

        There are exceptions. A “good old boy” was voted out of office during the last election, after attending a Tea Party rally and proclaiming his Birther sympathies to a student who asked him for a comment while holding up a video camera. The student, of course, posted the video on YouTube and it became a sensation. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a Birther, and there are several people in town that agree with him — but fringe conspiracy theories really don’t resonate with the center-left political culture dominates my town, and the popularity of the video embarrassed a huge fraction of the electorate. His replacement is much less of an idiot when speaking in public, and has generally been doing a good job of cleaning up and modernizing the mess made by the “good old boy” he replaced.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Consensus history and identity developed during the mid-20th century sort of ruined the concept of political parties for the average American. It became “we agree on so much!” instead of “we disagree on the important issues” because they fundamentally do. Without going into it here as clearly we don’t need to Romney and his Bain Capital approach has netted himself and his allies vast fortunes bought has left our society threadbare for it.

      Maybe in his 2016 run for president he can argue he should have been the incumbent so the recovered economy would be twice as large.

  • avatar
    loj

    To be fair, he DID publish an op-ed piece full of bad advice which was not followed. If the White House considered his recommendations and did the opposite, he may deserve some of the credit.

    It’s George Costanza’s “opposite” principle at work,

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Romney deserves about as much credit as Obama does for the auto “recovery.”

    And I still think touting GM as some sort of “success story” is ridiculous. Of course a company is going to “survive” when you throw tens of billions in taxpayer dollars that will never be repaid, screw over the bondholders that were supposed to be repaid, and then give the company tens of billions in tax write offs from a psuedo-bankruptcy that are deemed as “losses”.

    You could make a buggy whip company successful with that sort of scheme.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      My understanding was that the bond holders, esp. the speculators who bought in for pennies on the dollar, all received more from the process used then they would have received by any other method, including liquidation.

      And the ones who bought in for dollars on the dollar, and then did not exit what was a very obvious and slow motion train wreck, had no business buying bonds in the first place (and were lucky that their ignorance and failure to exit was rewarded as well as it was.)

      • 0 avatar
        Crosley

        No, that’s not correct at all. GM bonds were not just purchased by EVIL bankers with top hats and monocles.

        Just one example, an Indiana teacher,police, and fire pension fund lost millions:

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124286497706641485.html

        Never mind the rule of law, it was all about bailing out the UAW.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        The law only requires that the bondholders get at least the same amount from the restructuring that they would have gotten from a liquidation.

        Which was zero.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “My understanding was that the bond holders, esp. the speculators who bought in for pennies on the dollar, all received more from the process used then they would have received by any other method, including liquidation.”

        Your understanding is correct. The GM bondholders were unsecured; they were lucky to get anything.

        The GM secureds were paid at par (in full.) But as is the case with most large corporations, very little of GM’s debt was secured.

        (Chrysler’s circumstances, with its large proportion of secured debt, was unusual. And being secured is not a guaranty of repayment, particularly when the money to repay them doesn’t exist.)

      • 0 avatar
        Alexdi

        How nice it must be to peer down from your tower of condescension. The government solution was unprecedented bullshit that made a mockery of the bankruptcy process. Let’s see how your investments fare when the rules of the game are changed right as the music stops.

        http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-auto-bailout-and-the-rule-of-law

        Read and learn.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      The real success story is all those suppliers who didn’t go bankrupt. They still might, one day, but if doesn’t happen at the same time that everything else is going down the tubes, the economy might be able to deal with the pain.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        +1

        To underscore the point about the supply chain, I’ll offer some supporting evidence.

        I heard an interview with Ford Europe Operations executive Stephen Odell, who said that Ford was “in the room” and advocating for the bailouts because, while they have no love for their competitors, they need the supply chain that they share with GM to stay healthy. He is a European executive who was talking to the European press, so the American political correctness (the right-wing version of it, anyway) didn’t apply.

        Here’s the Interview:
        http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/worldservice/bizdaily/bizdaily_20120503-1015a.mp3
        The interview starts at 8:12. The part that I’m referring to starts about 10:15 and the actual comment is at 10:55.

        An American Ford executive would never say such businesslike things on American media — it’s so politically incorrect (right wing version) that the Tea Party would be picketing his house.

        Also, he says elsewhere that Ford has gotten a lot of PR mileage out of saving themselves without a bailout. Saying what he says in the podcast in the American media might endanger the sales boost that they’ve enjoyed as a result of the anger at GM.

        The car business really is a complex interconnected global web! And incredibly entertaining! :-)

    • 0 avatar
      77MGB

      +1. It’s amazing how many problems can be solved with borrowed money.

  • avatar
    alluster

    Have to agree. Romney deserves a lot of credit for the auto recovery. He ran an awful campaign and lost to McCain in the primaries who eventually lost to Obama who in turn bailed out the auto industry.

    If Romney hadn’t run an awful campaign and won the general election, GM and Chrysler along with rest of the US Auto industry would be 6 feet under by now. So Yes, Romney deserves a lot of credit for saving GM and Chrysler.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    Ya. He deserves as much credit as ANY politician- which is NONE. Yeah, GM and Chrysler are afloat for now, but I would not stow the lifeboats just yet.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “In the same vein, perhaps Romney will take credit for President Obama’s health care plan”

    I see what you did there.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Mittens says the U.S. should never apologize to anyone . And he says he’s real sorry about that !

  • avatar
    TR4

    How can you tell when a politician is lying? His mouth is open.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Disclosure, I’m left most European leftists. Having gotten that out of the way, I feel pitty for the Republicans, is this seriously the best candidate they can muster? Obama is a better Republican at this point, just put an (R) next to his name and those on that political side will love him just as much as they loved Reagan! Why didn’t you guys take control of your party and go with the other guy from Utah, at least he wasn’t insane.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Insane was a prerequisite in this primary. Luckily the absolute craziest dropped out early.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        I’ve come to believe that the only solution to this insanity is to let all citizens vote in both primaries. Yes, some portion of the voters would use the opportunity for mischief, but ask yourself: Is that what you would do, or would you honestly vote for your favorite candidate from each party? Maybe then we could get more sensible candidates out of the process. Either that or only citizens who voted in the primary get to vote in the general election in order to spur more participation in the primaries, but I doubt that would pass constitutional muster.

      • 0 avatar
        MusicMachine

        Huntsman?

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Big R gets the Flying L for this one.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The problem with Romney’s notion that a “managed bankruptcy” could have been done for GM and Chrysler w/o govt./taxpayer’s support is that at the time, the credit market had FROZEN, so there wasn’t going to be any $$ available to keep GM (or Chrysler) afloat while it reorganized.

    Ford Motor was fortuitous in that the Ford family, being a large shareholder, was in fear of what bankruptcy would do – so they pushed to Ford Motor to hoc everything and max their credit line so that bankruptcy would be the last option.

    In certain ways, GM was in better shape than Ford (having a profitable China division), but by the time GM’s management realized they were in dire straits (due to the auto market tanking from the fallout of the subprime/derivatives crash), banking institutions had pretty much shut their doors when it came to lending (even businesses with healthy demand for their goods/services had a difficult time getting $$ from the banks).

    Either Romney is totally deluded about this or he isn’t being straight when he claims and continues to claim that GM and Chrysler could have been saved w/o govt./taxpayer’s support.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Yup. People forget that back in that early 2009 timeframe absolutely nobody would lend money to refloat GM, except for the federal government. And Romney actively opposed that.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Oh, come on, PLENTY of folks were lining up to give GM debtor-in-possession financing. It says so right in the Rightwingnut Big Book of Economic Theory.

        If Romney had his way, GM and Chrysler would be as dead as dog crap right now, and most of their suppliers would be as well. And he’d blame that on Obama. Maybe that was the point?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Oh, come on, PLENTY of folks were lining up to give GM debtor-in-possession financing”

        It is funny how they like to claim that now, yet none could name a single financial institution that was willing to pony up the cash at the time.

        In any case, the structure of the bailouts is an indication of why their argument is BS. Some people ought to notice that at this point, the government loans are retired and what remains outstanding is equity.

        There is a reason why the government took back a large quantity of their funding commitment in the form of stock. GM and Chrysler could not have possibly been able to carry that much additional debt; the only way for the government to give them that much money was to commit it in the form of equity.

        Nobody in the private sector would have done that. Auto companies don’t generate enough returns for a private equity fund to have committed that kind of money to such a low return business. This was especially true in 2008-9, when things were in freefall and no one was completely certain when they would bottom out.

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Okay, let’s pretend that’s what happened. Everyone shuts down the lights and goes home, the Ren Center is knocked down, Chrysler HQ turns into a shopping mall.

        So…now what? There’s a ton of suddenly unsatisfied demand out there. Do you really think the remaining players are going to keep production flat and just raise prices? That Camrys are going to cost $65k in perpetuity? (Hint: the chances of that happening are about the same as of Lizzy Warren pulling off a rain dance.) And all those new cars are going to need parts, right? So…

        Would it have been disruptive? Hell yes. But would tens of thousands of people have just ended up sitting on their hands, as you seem to suggest? Not a chance.

        Next time, pull your head out of the Big Book of Protecting Reliably Democratic Constituencies (I hear Dark Horse is releasing a comic version, just for Joe Biden), and try thinking more than a quarter-step ahead. (Which is, incidentally, how GM and Chrysler got into the situation they’re in, too. Poetic, that.)

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    I really have a hard time with politics. I think it is because I’m an engineer.

    I require data. Stats. Quantitative analysis. Quantitative analysis removes the blinders of Qualitative analysis.

    He’s a +6′ tall, rich, non-ugly person. He speaks well most of the time and says anything to make people like him. If they developed a super politician in a lab it wouldn’t be far off.

    If he stepped in front of an audience of average people and mapped out his voting record vs. his opposition, described the logic use and provided clear and concise measurements to his successes and failures… Well at least I would respect him for being an authentic and a professional. I think people would get bored and walk away, which is sad. Why wouldn’t they when there is a yahoo down the hall preaching no taxes, free welfare, etc. What was that line from Gladiator? “You control the mob, you control Rome”. Something like that.

    Maybe it is just me, but I always get a condescending vibe from politicians in that they don’t believe “normal” people could comprehend the work load and pressure they are under. Maybe the president can claim that status, but I don’t buy it from just about everyone else. They should spend a few days in the shoes of a cardiac surgeon or an engineer that develops life-saving devices.

    I’m under 30 years of age… And to think my father’s generation is regarded as the most resentful of government.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      “Maybe it is just me, but I always get a condescending vibe from politicians in that they don’t believe “normal” people could comprehend the work load and pressure they are under.”

      This is the issue that I have had with politic my whole life. It used to be in our forefathers days that the average guy could be considered a candidate. I believe that this nation was build on letting the people govern the people. Now however it seems that only the overly educated, overly rich, overly righteous can run for office. This states includes the senate, house and every other office in DC. Don’t misread my words I am all for having individuals with some form of education and COMMON sense to lead the White House however what ever happen to Bob the builder from down the street being able to run. He knows me. He knows my city and states. He knows my needs. I know him and his family. His kids and mine went to school together. Now even on the local political levels Bob’s kids goto schools that cost 25k a year and I have never seen Bob in a grocery store due to his maid doing all his errands for him. I am not a Demo or Reb. I am not an independent. I vote for the person I feel that will lie the least. I voted for Clinton, I have voted for Bush (second term not the first). I have voted for Prez. Obama. I will vote for him again simply due the fact that Romney will spend the whole election lying about how different he is when he really isnt. No choice is not a choice.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        “It used to be in our forefathers days that the average guy could be considered a candidate. I believe that this nation was build on letting the people govern the people. Now however it seems that only the overly educated, overly rich, overly righteous can run for office.”

        If by “average guy” you mean rich, white, property owner then yeah. Our government was and always has been established to protect the rights and property of the monied from the rabble, not the other way around. Some rich white guys didn’t want to pay taxes to an even richer white guy so they convinced everyone else that that was wrong and to fight against that richer white guy on their behalf.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        I never realized that I was party of the “monied” class because we own some property.

        And, unlike most of those on the left, my wife and I have actually worked with the poor. Based on our actual experiences, as opposed to what we’ve read in the Huffington Post or The Nation, we’ll take our chances with the rich and propertied, thank you very much.

        There are very good reasons as to why poor people are poor, and it’s not because of rich people, Republicans, free trade, tax cuts, etc., etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        Funny, my wife has bumped into our (D) Congressman twice in the past two years while grocery shopping. Now he’s being challenged by multi-gazillionaire Joe Coors, who we’ve never seen a sign of except in the cold case, on beer cans. Point is, there are a few real folks in DC, yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        That’s not the Coors with the DUI, is it?

    • 0 avatar
      darkwing

      Fundamentally, the problem there is that the current political class — mostly consisting of people in our parents’ generation — is overall the worst in recent memory, possibly even the worst in American history. Boomers grew up pampered, hedonistic, and entitled, have in general ruined every institution they’ve touched, and are now only interested in manipulating the levers of government to score themselves a little extra free retirement money before heading off into the sunset to leave their mess behind.

      The trick is going to be surviving the next couple of decades, until the disrupting changes of time do what they do best.

      • 0 avatar
        Darkhorse

        How refreshing it must be to blame your problems on the previous generation. The so-called “Baby Boomers” built the most powerful economy the world has ever seen and defeated the Soviet Union in their spare time. We were patriots and did the best we could to make the US the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet. Since this is a car oriented site, I will confess we built and bought some of the worst cars ever made.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        Recent memory, yes. But coming of age in the LBJ/Nixon era, my view is that today’s politicians aren’t the worst in history. The earlier Mark Twain quotes also show just how far back in history we have had respectable “leaders”.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        “How refreshing it must be to blame your problems on the previous generation. The so-called “Baby Boomers” built the most powerful economy the world has ever seen and defeated the Soviet Union in their spare time. We were patriots and did the best we could to make the US the greatest nation ever to exist on this planet. Since this is a car oriented site, I will confess we built and bought some of the worst cars ever made.”

        Not to mention were key in the women’s and civil rights movements and in demonstrations to end the Vietnam war. Or is that the entitlement of which you speak?

      • 0 avatar
        darkwing

        Actually, it was your parents (and grandparents) who did the brunt of that work. You guys were rolling around in the mud, smoking pot, no doubt confident that the adults were in charge.

        Remember, we’ve had precisely three Boomer presidents so far: Clinton, W, and Obama. Need I say more?

        Uber comes closest — but protesting didn’t get the job done. Unless you’re saying I can oust Kony if only I like enough stuff on Facebook?

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    No doubt Mitt will appear on FOX NEWS and spin that the Democrats wanted to kill off the US auto industry and that only because of the efforts of him and the Republicans that both GM and Chrysler are alive and kicking today. It has to be true, it was on FOX.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I was against the auto bailout right up until I was for it. Mandated health insurance is pure liberal dogma, that’s why I did it in my home state of Massachusetts where 98.1% of people are now covered by healthcare insurance. I also invented the Internet. And now I must go, because somewhere the greatest threat to mankind, manbearpig is out there. I am super, super, serial!

    Excelsior!!!

  • avatar
    fredtal

    What else to you expect him to say when facing a crowd at a auto parts manufacturer? What ever it takes to get elected.

  • avatar
    tparkit

    He is doing exactly what his critics predicted: as soon as his way to the nomination clears he will begin dropping his pseudo-conservative positions and shift to his natural center-left orientations. He couldn’t say this earlier because, for several reasons, conservatives generally reject the concepts of “managed” and “bailout”.

    Liberal pundit Micky Kaus was an early forcaster of Romney flipflops. Here he is on “hecho-el-sketcho” — the beginning of Romney’s immigration pivot:

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/10/el-hecho-del-sketcho/

    FWIW, it has been said that there’s a difference between the origin of frauds by Obama and those by Romney. This theory holds that Obama is a socialist and a calculating liar. Romney has no beliefs whatever, and slips easily from one convenient view to another. Neither ideological capitalist nor socialist, he gravitates toward supporting and expanding the existing system and power structures because the established order and its players are what made his success possible.

    Whatever the origin of Obama’s and Romney’s falseness, there seems little difference in the outcome.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      “Whatever the origin of Obama’s and Romney’s falseness, there seems little difference in the outcome.”

      And this is why my friend this will be one of the tightest races in the history of elections..

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I don’t think you know what “centre-left” is, because even at his most milquetoast, Romney isn’t centre-left. Heck, Obama isn’t particularly leftist.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Waingrow

      National Socialism in Germany, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics prior to its dissolution, the Socialist party’s Hollande in France, Obama the socialist. Might one say that the term has been stretched in so many ways that it ceases to have any reliable meaning? As for capitalism, today’s in the U.S. bears little resemblance to that which existed here in the late 19th century. Sometimes the more advanced European countries are said to have a kind of socialism, yet their economic systems are, by any reasonable definition, capitalist. An extensive array of social programs can readily co-exist with robust capitalism, as in the Netherlands, or not at all, as in Cuba. So the terms are casually thrown about, but their meanings are often only in the eyes of the beholders.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny ro

      Yes Mitt is “changing message” – – Its what his campaign manager said the other day to a mainstream media source. I read it in NYTimes on Sunday.

      He is now changing message to appeal to the broader audience which does not monitor the primaries. Under advisement of the GOP.

  • avatar

    If sharing an opinion is all you need to do to take credit for being part of the solution then my list of accomplishments just exploded.

  • avatar
    John

    And here I thought it was the Kardashians who saved the auto industry….silly me!

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I live in Massachusetts, and I remember Romney’s term here as governor, and I can assure you that he bore no resemblance to his current self. He would probably have been described then as a moderate, much like a previous Republican governor, Paul Weld. So you really have to wonder whether this guy is just the most cynical fellow alive, or that he’s an actual chameleon. His claim to have helped save the domestic auto industry is reminiscent of Al Gore’s for having invented the internet. And the sad part is that both of them are extremely bright and able people. It’s the lizard aspect that’s so troubling.

    • 0 avatar
      THE_F0nz

      Thank you for your comment! I often wonder about what was thought of him while he was governor. They seem to keep his past out of the lime-light while he was trying to win conservative votes. I hope I get to hear about his actual track record in the coming months. Performance History is the best indication of future performance.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Except of course, Gore never actually claimed to have invented the internet, but he did sponsor 1988 National High-Performance Computer Act (which established a national computing plan and helped link universities and libraries via a shared network) and cosponsored the Information Infrastructure and Technology Act of 1992 (which opened the Internet to commercial traffic). But the media, being so liberal and all, couldn’t pass up a chance to call him a liar.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        I get your point vis-a-vis Gore, and I appreciate your obvious knowledge of the specifics. But I heard Gore talk about the internet more than a few times, and he did tend to embelish a bit. Maybe it was just the fisherman’s wont to enlarge the size of the fish as the story of the catch gets retold. Yet unlike Romney, at least Gore actually caught a fish.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Sush! You’re infringing on David Icke’s domain.
      Jokes aside, isn’t that part of the problem with a two party system and the nomination process, to get nominated you have to cater to fringe groups within the party. The flip side is that you have to be somewhat moderate to win the general election. So – and I’m not saying this in defense of mr Romney – you have to be kind of a flip-floper to get anywhere and get anything done.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I’m surprised he hasn’t claimed credit for bagging Osama Bin Laden yet.

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    I think Romney’s campaign has inadvertently shown why a business person generally cannot become a successful top level politician.

    Think about what Romney did in his business career: he went around to different constituencies of different companies and fed them truths, half-truths, and lies, to get them to agree to go along with his deals. He had one story for managenemnt, and no doubt another story he told the workers, and yet a third for investors. He said what each wanted to hear. For anyone in business, at management level and above, that’s how business people get it done. Lying is OK. Taking someone else’s accomplishments as one’s own is OK. You can get away with it because the conversations are private to a group – the press isn’t reporting the difference in your message to other groups and there is no one with enough information about internal company workings to do fact checking (below management, that is).

    Now map this onto the political stage. Your comments are fact checked, cross referenced to each other and statements you made 10 years earlier; you can’t hide behind the deceits of the business man. And this is what is tripping Romney up. He must decide what HE believes, and deliver the same story everywhere. I don’t think he can, since he believes in the deal and the money that results from it.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Very insightful comment.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        I’d say it’s a rather ignorant comment.

        If dj believes that CEO’s, company directors and anyone that leads and manages teams of people of any size isn’t a politician, I’d say you’ve never worked on a team and understood the complexity of relationships.

        The bottom line with both Obama and Romney is that they’re bought – by banks, food companies, special interest groups, unions, etc. Let me repeat this. They are both bought.

        Obama had an opportunity to change this dynamic in 2008 – 2009. We were collectively staring down into an abyss and almost fell in. Obama had a unique opportunity to tell us, the voters, something like this: “I won’t be able to prevent something like this again when the majority of the 500+ elected leaders are bought by special interests. Help me by voting them all out of office and electing independent minded folks”. Had he said this, I’d have an Obama sign in my front yard, even though I lean right.

        Instead, we got the opposite of his hope and change promises.

        Romney is proving he is just as much a liar as Obama has shown us over the last 4 yrs.

    • 0 avatar
      Darkhorse

      I was an executive in the software industry for many years. Lying was never accepted behavior. You’d get fired if caught unless you worked on Wall Street. Embellishment and spin were accepted because the people on the other side of the deal expected it and baked it into the deal.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Obama was a career politician before he became president, and if you really believe that career politicians spend all of their time telling the truth, and that only business leaders lie, you really did just fall off the turnip truck.

  • avatar
    George B

    Here is the Mitt Romney Op-Ed “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Always bypass the journalists and spin. Read the original source.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html

    I think is was politically stupid for Mitt Romney to take any credit for the survival of GM and Chrysler because 1) his recommendations were only loosely followed at best and 2) the fundamental restructuring for long-term survival still hasn’t happened. Money from taxpayers bailed out GM and Chrysler and the cost of UAW benefits is still baked into every car they build. I predict that GM and Chrysler will fail again.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Interesting how he rails against union pensions in that piece, yet he managed to negotiate a retirement deal for himself–at 52 years old– that pays him millions every year.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/19/us/politics/retirement-deal-keeps-bain-money-flowing-to-romney.html?pagewanted=1

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Clearly Romney negotiated a sweet deal for himself, but his payout is aligned with the continuing success of the company he helped start. It’s not a golden parachute out of a failing organization. The Romney op-ed also calls for giving the workers direct ownership where they directly profit if the company profits. Instead, the deal workers got lets the UAW handle the money at every step of the process and skim off a little for themselves and the politicians they support.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Romney helped start the company, so comparing him to a UAW member is not an apples-to-apples comparison. When it comes to what to expect from a company, employees are not treated the same as the actual owners, no matter what Solidarity or the local Occupy group say.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    Hard to believe he’s trying to take credit for the GM & Chryco bankruptcies/bailouts. As previously stated he was dead set against the federal bailouts claiming private capital should be used conveniently ignoring the fact there was none available. I have to believe some portions of the media are going to point out the facts.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Can somebody confirm or deny this for me: I once heard that Bain Capital was offered a chance to buy GM’s European operations (before the bailouts) but they refused. True or false?

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Maybe his wife’s Cadillacs WERE the bailout.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    We will be worse off in 5 years than we would have been if we had kept the executive branch out of it. We would all be better off tomorrow if Bankruptcy rules were rewritten to punish management for failure rather than reward them for it.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      That seems a little questionable. Private lending wasn’t readily available at the time, and GM’s closure would’ve taken down quite a lot of the suppliers in the US. That would’ve been a pretty big deal. If GM and Chrysler fail later on when the rest of the economy can pick up the slack, it won’t be half as bad as it would’ve been.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Yes, it would have been bad. Soup line bad. Long term though, we would be better off. The private lending argument is garbage on both sides. It means nothing because, as was proven, neither company was treated like a non governmental agency in a free market with protection for private property and contracts for generations. In a few more decades we will once again be extorted to bail out the children of today’s managers and workers who will be in the same predicament.
        Meanwhile, many potential 21st century Henry Fords will fail to create a better way.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        If I’m supplying Chrysler with door handles when it goes under, what makes you think I’m not also supplying Nissan, Toyota, GM, Ford and others? What makes you think their production won’t ramp up, picking up Chrysler’s lost sales? If Chrysler was my only buyer, shame on me, but my workers would find work at my competitors or did you think robots would fill the new positions? So they have to move to new town. A lot of us in the private sector are doing that. Oh well. When you let the Big 3 fail, only 1 would fail and the other would get stronger and more importantly, wiser when they know they have to sink or swim. The bailout worked at the moment, but we need to act long term. If Short term thinking gets companies in trouble, what about countries?

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      From this one comment alone, you are imminently more qualified to be president than either Obama or Romney.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      I would argue against that. Sure the US has a pretty lenient bankruptcy statue, with reorganization being the norm rather then liquidation and – compared to many European jurisdictions – it being more difficult for creditors to force a debtor into bankruptcy. Having said that the US system does yield a better result for the creditors both in terms of the time it takes from the proceedings are initiated, and in terms of cents to dollar returned to the creditor, as compared to most other countries.
      I know punishment is a pretty sweet thought if you ever been screwed over by somebody, but in this case it might not exactly be the smart thing. If you punish the management of a corporation for entering reorganization/liquidation you pretty much just created an incentive to continue a loss making operation as the managers at least has the chance to evade punishment if they continue the operation, this would hardly increase the yields for lenders in bankruptcy.
      Well one could argue that the threat of liability would make for more cautious managers, and it probably would. If that would be desirable is another thing, R&D and innovation is pretty risky business, churning out gas guzzling SUV’s with a shit load of marketing is (rather was) not, I would argue that the SUV scenario is more in line with what GM/Mopar did than over investing in risky ventures and innovation.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Every case is different, but management that actually caused a bankruptcy shouldn’t be getting big incentives and equity to stay in most cases. Pink slips without severance would be more appropriate. Instead, they seem to get incentives and bonuses in weird cases. For instance, how marketable is a head of operations from a bankrupt company? And sure, the head of HR wasn’t the cause, but is it really that hard to replace a head of HR? And of all the auto makers are In trouble, do twenty year vets really need a bonus to avoid losing them to other troubled players?
        The system seems to punish the stock holders like they actually have any power when they really are the weakest creditor and usually victims.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “reorganization being the norm rather then liquidation”

        The majority of US business bankruptcies end up in Chapter 7. Reorganization is not the norm. http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/Statistics/JudicialFactsAndFigures/2010/Table703.pdf

        During normal economic conditions, large companies have better odds of reorganization because they can often obtain DIP financing. But there was no way that GM or Chrysler could have possibly done that in 2009.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @Pch101
        “Reorganization being the norm rather then liquidation”.
        At least the literature seems to imply that reorganization is the default “mode”, but the date presented by you surely makes a case against that assertion, thanks. Most of the stuff I read about it is geared at corporations (I’ve approached the subject from a corporate law angle), and in those cases there’s probably a better chance for reorganization and for imposing voluntary haircuts on lenders out of court and extracting capital out of share holders.

        @Landcrusher
        Well the shareholders are able to vote at the meeting every year. If they’re not satisfied with incentives given or the direction the company is heading they can, either vote against said compensations (depending on governing law and the bylaws of the corporation), give the board the boot or simply sell their shares.
        There’s a reason equity is more expensive the debt, namely that you get paid last,

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “At least the literature seems to imply that reorganization is the default ‘mode\'”

        I don’t have data on it, but a large number of 7 filings begin as 11 filings. They convert to 7 when there ends up being no workable reorganization plan.

        Most business bankruptcies are small, so they will never get DIP financing. There are cases when the larger filings also fall out of 11, such as the second (and last) filing of Tower Records; Tower management wanted to reorganize, but their plan backfired and they were forced to liquidate.

        It is true that US courts do deal with larger entities differently. They balance the need to protect the creditors with public policy goals such as maintaining employment. But most businesses don’t provide enough social benefit or otherwise bring enough DIP money to the table for that to happen.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Mea,
        The stockholder vote makes all things fair line is just crap. Everyone knows it, even you. The only real vote is the sell button. Companies small enough for average investors to have an actual say in are even worse because the books are often cooked.

        PCH,
        By social benefit you mean powerful managers? That’s a joke, but not completely.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        @Landcrusher

        Sure, selling is probably the most accessible way for small share owners to manifest discontent. However they do have an influence in relationship to their ownership, that seems quite fair, and if you as a stock owner feels dissatisfied you can always try to influence other shareholders – big or small – to vote a certain way. If you don’t like those rules you don’t have to buy at all.
        I’m not implying that US bankruptcy rules are perfect or that corporate law is some kind of ratio scripta, but the system is mostly better then the alternatives.

        @Pch101
        That seems in line with my understanding.
        The problem with law is that the use of statistics isn’t as widely spread and understood as in other areas, most law schools doesn’t exactly spend a lot of time teaching statistical analysis or study design and methodology.

  • avatar
    volt4obama

    Romney deserves credit for the saving the U.S. auto industry like Hitler deserves credit for the creation of the state of Israel.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    The statement is questionable at best, an integrity fail at worst and therefor does not create a sense of trust in the man. He is not leaving me warm and fuzzy.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Who cares about this? The auto bailout net cost is currently said to be $14 billion. (WSJ and CNN) The Federal debt added over the past few years is about 300 hundred times that. The auto bailout is a sideshow, a very minor sideshow.
    We are so boned in November. But remember, BHO is the cancer, Mitt is the chemo – both unpleasant, but one is a better choice.

  • avatar
    carlos.negros

    BHO may be the cancer, but Willard Mitt Romney is the carcinogen.

    One is there to tell you to avoid the other.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Reading the headline, BEFORE I dove below the jump, my thought was Bull Sh!t.

    Romney is an enigma. I read a story once where they tried to delve into his past, what past? He’s essentially wiped it clean, stretched the truth about Bain and his involvement with it.

    Also that same story told of his difficulties connecting with virtually ANYONE in any meaningful way.

    That’s a scary thought for a potential presidential candidate. I think he may make ol’ Bush the II look halfway good, and that’s not saying much, that man was simply an idiot and a tool for Dick Cheney and Karl Rove who had their own agendas, some of which they used Bush to try and enact, at least that’s how I saw it anyway.

    I just don’t see him being able to connect well with anyone, let alone foreign dignitaries – all the while trying to scrub his life clean of anything he doesn’t want us to know so he can remain an enigma – and that and his religion just doesn’t sit right with me.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      Obama is an enigma. I read a story once where they tried to delve into his past, what past? He’s essentially wiped it clean, stretched the truth about stretched the truth about Rev. Wright and his involvement with him.

      See what I did there? Would you like me to play fill-in-the-blank with just about every other president we’ve ever had?

      Romney’s “scary” as a presidential candidate and Obama’s not? Oh, right, the press constantly told what a cool dude Obama is, so it must be true then. Nevermind that his backstory is at least as hazy and tightly-guarded as Romney’s.

      It’s really painful to hear the inane excuses people come up to justify why they can’t/won’t ever vote for a Republican. (Or a Democrat, whatever) Nobody can ever admit they vote for one party or the other because they oppose gay marriage or support abortion rights. Or because that’s the party daddy voted for. Or because they mistake Jon Stewart or Rush Limbaugh for “news.” No, instead they come up with stupid excuses about missing birth certificates and dogs strapped to station wagon luggage racks.

      You wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney if he showed up at your door like Ed McMahon and gave you a $50 million check.

  • avatar
    TAP

    @ Landcrusher: “Yes it would have been bad, soup line bad…”
    Sure, as long as you and me weren’t 2 of the ~3 million in the lines.
    Also, the thing Romney seems to care most about besides his money, he can’t bring up- the mormon church.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      The only important thing about who the victims are is not whether it’s you or me, it’s whether they had choices. Anyone involved in these companies should have known there was no future in it. Who feels sorry for the guy who borrowed 500k for a 480k house while making 25k a year? Free markets require that employees take responsibility for taking the job at a sketchy company. No other system works. The perps are all the people in government who act like there is a safety net rather than creating a PSA about the dangers of trusting a company like GM with their financial futures.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Yes he’s responsible just like Al Gore invented the internet!!!! It’s the truth man I tell ya… the TRUTH!!!

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    Any shrewd politician wouldn’t touch the bailouts with a 39 1/2 foot pole. It’s a toxic issue. It’s also ancient history, but Romney can’t seem to help himself. I imagine growing up in Motown during the ’50s/’60s and idolising his father has a lot to do with it. You’re not an auto executive, Mitt, get over it.

    Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Biden’s been going around shooting his mouth off about saving GM. Joe’s such an easy target you know. Meanwhile, Joe’s boss has been going around reminding every one how much credit he deserves for getting Bin Laden and even suggesting that his opponent wouldn’t have done the same. Sorry but that’s far more ridiculous and obnoxious than any of Mitt’s Detroit nonsense.

    On a side note, I’m particularly enjoying how many of the same people who rail against TTAC for getting political and for being anti-GM or anti-Obama haven’t hesitated to dump all over Romney in the comments. You guys are such a bunch of hacks.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      So why waste time down on Hack Street with the likes of us, FB6?

      What makes this different from 99% of other TTAC threads is that it’s directly about a candidate and what he said. We’re not wandering into politics from a more concrete topic.

      BTW, not every Presidential candidate was up to pulling off the Bin Laden raid. In the debates, McCain criticized Obama’s stance that he would strike Bin Laden in Pakistan, if found there. McCain called it reckless to endanger the relationship with Pakistan. And it was risky– how many other times have we landed troops in the middle of a city in another nuclear-armed nation?

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    Regarding lying within a company, you are talking about the management of a company and its actions towards its employees and shareholders.

    Do you understand what Bain did with companies in which it had an interest? It didn’t become management; it stripped them of assets and loaded them with debt. I’m sure Romney told Bain colleagues exactly what he was doing, but do you honestly think he told that to the management and employees of his targeted firms? No. If you think so, you misunderstand the purpose of his activities.

    He needed to tell employees glowing stories about the future of the company to keep them from sabotaging the company or leaving, while he was at the same time working with the managements of those companies to sell off assets that workers, had they known, might have considered essential to the future of the business.

    Look, businesses perform an essential function. They make useful items and create jobs. Romney did not undertake his activities with those goals in mind. He didn’t do it. Let’s at least be honest about what his goals were. Money for Bain. He could have had the goal “we are going to turn around these companies, we don’t expect it to take less than 10 years, and then we will get our money back. That was not the ticket to the big money leagues. He choose not to do that. He wanted money for himself and Bain. And would tell half truths to get it. We see the corrosive impact that has on an individual right now.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      If I recall correctly, you live in California. Last time I checked, the Golden State was broke because politicians (and not those of the conservative variety) had convinced the population that they could have everything, and that someone else (those awful “rich” people) were going to pay for it.

      Now the state is broke, loaded with debt, and its unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation. That’s a real “success” story, and Bain Capital and Mitt Romney had nothing to do with it.

      I’m not seeing how much “better” politicians are than business executives, when it comes to lying and managing other people’s money. At least I have the choice of whether to do business with a certain company. Can’t say the same about paying taxes..

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Romney is a LSOS. L is a word for not telling the truth, and both s-words have four letters in them.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    Another day, another stupid politician.

    Not much different than the one currently in the White House. We might as well keep him and avoid the moving fees.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Yo Mitt – how many wives can you fit in the back of a Fiat 500??

  • avatar
    TomHend

    For all you idiot Obama lovers out there, I lose my health insurance coverage June 1, true, no lie.

    I will walk acorss cut glass to vote against Obama.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Did the Prez personally take your very own health policy away? For decades, folks have been losing insurance when they lost their jobs. When they can least afford to pay, they lose their medical support system too. We Liberals think it’s an inhumane outrage to tie health insurance to employment. We wanted “Medicare Part E” (for Everybody). Obama’s plan is a halfway measure, adopted from the Republican Heritage Foundation, aimed at correcting the worst injustices of private health insurance. You’re getting left behind by the system, so why defend the status quo?

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I thought breaking the tie to employment was in neither left or right platforms. I think most liberals want government, not individual healthcare.

    At any rate, I think breaking the employment connection is big in the Tea Party.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States