Obama ad hits Romney over auto bailout claims

The ad, called “Mitt Romney versus Reality: Auto Recovery Edition,” opens with Romney saying he deserves credit for the recovery of the auto industry. The ad then plays a montage of Romney while reiterating the title of his 2008 Wall Street Journal op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

In an interview Monday with Cleveland station WEWS-TV, Romney said President Obama's rescue of the auto industry followed ideas he had proposed. 

“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,” Romney said. 

The Obama campaign called Romney’s comments “a new low in dishonesty, even for him.”

Democrats have argued that Detroit automakers would have gone belly-up without the $80 billion in federal loans they received. 

The Romney campaign has taken to arguing that the president adopted Romney’s idea for a managed bankruptcy, although many believe that there were no private investors around during the financial crisis who would have stepped in to provide loans had the government failed to do so.
“Mitt Romney may think he can fool the American people by hiding his belief that we should 'let Detroit go bankrupt,' but the American people won't let him," former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said in a statement released by the Obama campaign. “His comments today that he will 'take a lot of credit that the [auto] industry has come back' are a new low in dishonesty, even for him. Mitt Romney seems to think Americans will just forget the past and his very vocal and clear opposition to the successful auto rescue." 

The Obama campaign has repeatedly pointed to the 2008 op-ed and Romney's opposition of the federal loan program as evidence Obama was a better steward of the auto industry.