Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said lawmakers should not give troubled U.S. automakers a bailout, and should let the companies slip into managed bankruptcy.

"A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs," said Romney, whose father, George Romney, was onetime head of American Motors and a governor of Michigan. "It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs"

In a New York Times op-ed, Romney said the federal government should provide a backstop for warranties and the auto companies' financing as they would emerge from bankruptcy.

"It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition," Romney wrote. "But don