By Keith Laing
The article was titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” and in it Romney said giving the auto companies financial assistance in 2008 would be worse for them than allowing them to go bankrupt.
“If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye,” Romney wrote in the article. “It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”
He has since defended his position, saying that the conditions that were eventually placed on the federal government's assistance by the Obama administration mirrored his proposals.
Obama's reelection campaign has made clear it sees Romney's position on the auto bailouts as a weakness in a potential general-election match-up between the two. Obama has taken credit for the turnaround of the car companies in recent stump speeches.
“One of the first decisions I made as president was to save the U.S. auto industry from collapse,” he said during a speech last month at a General Motors plant in Orion Township, Mich.
“Today, I can stand here and say the investment paid off,” Obama continued. “The hundreds of thousands of jobs saved made it worth it … taxpayers are being repaid, and plants like this are churning out groundbreaking fuel-efficient cars like the Chevy Sonic.”