By Justin Sink - 02/27/12 02:20 PM EST
The DNC released a new Web video Monday in which Michigan voters express skepticism over Romney's suggestion that Detroit automakers would have been better served by structured bankruptcy. Democrats have been hammering Romney, arguing recent record profits from General Motors validate the president's strategy.
"While President Obama took decisive action with the auto industry recovery program, which saved 1.4 million jobs and helped GM return to the world's largest automotive company, Mitt Romney made his intentions clear — he would have left the auto industry for dead. Voters in Michigan and Ohio aren't buying what Mitt Romney's selling, because they know he got it dead wrong and that if he had been president, Michigan's and the U.S.'s economy would have been devastated," the DNC said in a statement.
The ad opens with a 2008 interview quoting from Romney's now-famous New York Times editorial, titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," in which he predicts that if the Big Three automakers "get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye."
The commercial then segues to a montage of voters describing Romney's argument as "ridiculous" and "disgusting." They go on to emphasize the importance of the auto industry to Detroit's economy and culture.
"More than 1 million jobs were saved as part of the auto recovery … Mitt Romney was wrong about the auto industry," onscreen text reads.
Democrats hope their efforts in Michigan — which have included a slew of ads on the bailouts from the DNC, progressive groups like Move On and the president's reelection campaign — can shore up support for President Obama ahead of the November campaign. But the party is also clearly trying to tweak Romney, the presumptive Republican front-runner, who has struggled to put away Rick Santorum's insurgent campaign in the state where Romney grew up.
Romney defended his stance in an op-ed in the Detroit News earlier this month, calling the bailout "crony capitalism" that benefited the president's supporters in auto labor unions.
“The president tells us that without his intervention, things in Detroit would be worse,” Romney wrote. “I believe that without his intervention, things there would be better."