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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speaks during the first presidential debate with President Barack Obama (not pictured) in Denver October 3, 2012.    REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)
When it comes to the auto industry, Mitt Romney isn't content to say his campaign won't be dictated by fact-checkers. He's determined to drive fact-checkers to exhaustion and despair as they're forced to respond and respond again to the same falsehoods. The truth is not on his side, so Romney is banking on repetition to win the day for him, to repeat his lies so often that there are not enough newspaper inches or television news minutes or fact-checker work hours to rebut them every time. In Monday night's debate, he was at it again:
I'm a son of Detroit. I was born in Detroit. My dad was head of a car company. I like American cars. And I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry. My plan to get the industry on its feet when it was in real trouble was not to start writing checks. It was President Bush that wrote the first checks. I disagree with that. I said they need—these companies need to go through a managed bankruptcy. And in that process, they can get government help and government guarantees, but they need to go through bankruptcy to get rid of excess cost and the debt burden that they'd—they'd built up. [...]

ROMNEY: I said that we would provide guarantees, and—and that was what was able to allow these companies to go through bankruptcy, to come out of bankruptcy. Under no circumstances would I do anything other than to help this industry get on its feet. And the idea that has been suggested that I would liquidate the industry, of course not. Of course not.


OBAMA: Let's check the record.

I'll give him this: Romney did say the government should provide guarantees. On that single point, Romney is being truthful. But guarantees weren't going to be enough, and Romney has no answers for the real questions.

He argued fiercely against the government providing the bailout that kept the auto industry on its feet at a time when no private money was available to keep it going. Virtually everyone who was involved in attempting to save Chrysler and General Motors in late 2008 and 2009 agrees that without that government bailout—which Romney to this day says was a terrible mistake—Chrysler and GM would have gone under, dragging down with them auto parts manufacturers, dealers, and other businesses all up and down the supply chain. And they would have gone under quickly. Liquidation was less than a month away.

Romney may not have understood himself to be arguing for liquidation back in 2008. But it would have been the effect if his advice had carried the day. And to this day, regardless of how often and by whom the situation is explained to him, he cannot accept that he was wrong. His certainty that Mitt Romney, Businessman, is always right is too strong to allow for that possibility. And admitting he was wrong would drive home that if he had been president, the American auto industry would have gone under. Michigan and Ohio's economies would have been destroyed. A million jobs would have gone up in flames. The recovery we've experienced from the great recession, however inadequate it's been, would instead have been a descent into a depression. And that's not much of an advertisement for a Romney presidency this time around. So he lies. It's all he can do.

Please give $3 to help reelect President Obama.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:48 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Of course... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, Kevvboy, BobBlueMass, shoeless, Bear

    ...he isn't. It's his last hope and his campaign has identified this as his last hope of winning Ohio.

    "Good to be here, good to be anywhere." --Keith Richards

    by bradreiman on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:54:57 AM PDT

  •  the statement (15+ / 0-)

    Let Detroit go Bankrupt is what may end up costing Willard the election.  Obama has hung that albatross around Willard's neck as well as the big navy anchor that he added last night just for good luck.

    •  Anchors Away (11+ / 0-)

      Mitt lost the election four years ago when he wrote that editorial. As soon as the bailout was successful, he was fucked. It doesn't matter if he fools people who don't live in OH, WI, MI, and PA. The reality is that the people who live in the Rust Belt there know that the auto industry is coming back. It was saved and they haven't forgotten who saved them and who told them to fuck off.

    •  Mitt has tried to disavow the headline (8+ / 0-)

      "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" as saying that the NYT made it up, not him.  (His website points that out.)  He's also tried to make the whole "managed bankruptcy isn't like a liquidation" argument.  

      But here's the thing: Mitt's op-ed in the times was SEVERELY against the auto bailout ultimately implemented by President Obama. Here's how the op-ed begins, as reproduced on his website:

       IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.
      In other words, Mitt predicted that what President Obama did wouldn't work. What did Mitt say was needed?
       The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.
      But as President Obama pointed out last night, GM needed pre-petition DIP (debtor in possession) financing in order to go IN to bankruptcy.  That sort of financing is critical to any company trying to reorganize. It just wasn't available in the private markets in late 2008 and early 2009 -- I know, I was involved in an automotive parts company's bankruptcy proceeding during that period -- and GM's potential for coming out of bankruptcy as a going concern if it went in without DIP financing was NIL, NADA, NONE. Mitt's just wrong when he says there was private financing available. Wrong. So much for his financial acumen.

      I wish Obama had pointed out how wrong Mitt was not just in terms of the policy, but in terms of his prediction. Mitt said if the auto industry got bailed out, nothing would change, and the auto industry would still fail. But GM is alive and bin Laden is dead instead.

      •  The Economist apologized for doubting bail-out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Government Motors no more
        An apology is due to Barack Obama: his takeover of GM could have gone horribly wrong, but it has not

        But I like this headline from The Economist:

        Mitt Romney and the car industry
        A Detroiter in his own mind

        Romney wrote an Op/Ed for The Detroit News in February to clarify his infamous op/ed. From The Economist:

        The purpose of Mr Romney's op-ed is to clarify his position on the auto bail-out ahead of Michigan's primary on February 28th. And the piece rivals Cirque du Soleil in its display of contortions. Mr Romney seems loth to gush about the success of the bail-out, noting only the good news that "Chrysler and General Motors are still in business". He certainly doesn't mention that 2011 was the best year for America's carmakers since the financial crisis, with each of the big three turning a solid profit. But he does imply that this achievement is a result of his own advice. "The course I recommended was eventually followed", Mr Romney writes.
        . . .But the course Mr Romney recommended in 2008 began with the government stepping back, and it is unlikely things would've turned out so well had this happened.
        Free-marketeers that we are, The Economist agreed with Mr Romney at the time. But we later apologised for that position. "Had the government not stepped in, GM might have restructured under normal bankruptcy procedures, without putting public money at risk", we said. But "given the panic that gripped private is more likely that GM would have been liquidated, sending a cascade of destruction through the supply chain on which its rivals, too, depended." Even Ford, which avoided bankruptcy, feared the industry would collapse if GM went down. At the time that seemed like a real possibility. The credit markets were bone-dry, making the privately financed bankruptcy that Mr Romney favoured improbable. He conveniently ignores this bit of history in claiming to have been right all along.
      •  He defended the headline on TV (0+ / 0-)
  •  You know, maybe that is the source of many of (5+ / 0-)

    the Romney flip flops.

    His certainty that Mitt Romney, Businessman, is always right is too strong to allow for that possibility. And admitting he was wrong would drive home that if he had been president, the American auto industry would have gone under.

    He's put himself on a pedestal; in his own mind, he is the outstanding manager/deal maker/ with unparalleled, perfect  business judgement.

    Time is a long river.

    by phonegery on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:59:52 AM PDT

  •  "My dad was head of a car company... (5+ / 0-)

    "OK, it was American Motors, but golly-by-jingle the Rambler sure could Ramble..."

    The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

    by D in Northern Virginia on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 09:08:58 AM PDT

  •  Have you ever seen a liquidated company? (11+ / 0-)

    I mean, a manufacturing company, after they've been liquidated. I have.
    What you see is a barely lit, empty expanse covered by electrical connections cut off a foot above the floor.
    One word describes a manufacturing company after liquidation; violated.
    When I think of Romney saying "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt", this is what he meant.

  •  If you keep complaining... (5+ / 0-)

    ...that your opponent is attacking your positions, then you probably don't understand how debates work.

  •  And (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He thinks Seamus liked going on vacation.

    Every doorknob in my house function better than Mitt Romney does; what does that tell you?

    What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness, Anger, discontent and drooping hopes... Life is too strong for you-- It takes life to love Life

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:04:53 AM PDT

  •  rMoney: the hypothetical that keeps lying /nt (0+ / 0-)

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:05:48 AM PDT

  •  You're Too Generous (6+ / 0-)

    Romney's reference to government guarantees was specifically post-bankruptcy (i.e. after the buesinesses had gone under), at which point the only government role would be to pick up orphaned warranties:

    The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:06:13 AM PDT

    •  That's not what it means (0+ / 0-)

      The reference to "post-bankruptcy financing" means exit financing, or the financing needed upon the theoretically reorganized company's emergence from bankruptcy.

    •  And just to make this clear this is the crux (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mr market, FiredUpInCA

      of the debate.  

      Mitt wanted the companies to go through private bankruptcy.

      The Bush administration, Obama, and anyone with any once of objectivity realized a private bankruptcy would not be feasible.  With frozen credit markets, no one was going to to step forward to provide the automakers the capital they needed to get through the bankruptcy process.  Hence the government intervention.  

      Mitt's post-bankruptcy guarantees and government backed warranties would've been worthless as GM and Chrysler would've never survived long enough to make it through his bankruptcy plan.  

      •  Well.. we had just bailed out Chase, BofA, etc. (0+ / 0-)


        I am sure with the right pressure from the government, and with said guarantees, they could have found the private financing.

        But we asked absolutely nothing from those banks.. nothing.. we gave them $800 Billion for "Toxic Assets" without them giving up any of those toxic assets..  But I did notice Chase has been on a building spree the last 4 years.. they have a new branch every 4 blocks.

  •  It is the one part of (7+ / 0-)

    his record he cannot Etch-a-Sketch away, at least in Ohio, where the auto workers and those who love and depend on them know damn well who stood up for them and who said "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

    With Mitt, the explanations are always to be found in the fine print:  

    *Not meant to be taken seriously, used as a spurious example only"

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:06:29 AM PDT

  •  I would go stronger than this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "I'll give him this: Romney did say the government should provide guarantees. On that single point, Romney is being truthful. But guarantees weren't going to be enough, and Romney has no answers for the real questions."

    Government guarantees were not merely not "going to be enough" it was a worthless gesture.  When no one in the private capital market was willing much less able to step forward and provide billions to bailout the auto industry; Mitt was essentially saying the government should back up nothing.  There weren't going to be any private lenders to back.  

  •  MSNBC had fact checker on this morning, (0+ / 0-)

    calling Romney correct and Obama incorrect on this, based on Romney's Federal guarantee, which she called Federal money, and therefore the same as what Obama offered.

    Diarist says federal guarantee would not have been enough.  Would like to hear more on this.  I want to understand better the difference between what Romney was offering with federal guarantees, and what Obama did.

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:08:22 AM PDT

    •  Romney wanted to cast the auto industry (9+ / 0-)

      into the clutches of his vulture capital cronies.  There is always a price at which assets could be liquidated.  GMs demise would have been a true fire sale, and all the suckers (employees, suppliers, their employees, retirees depending on pensions and benefits, etc.etc.) eat it.

      Then, to top it off, they would have the government (i.e. you and me) guarantee the financing that was done to purchase the carcass.  That way, after getting whatever remaining blood might have been squeezed out, they could come back and default on the purchase without penalty.

      In Mitt's world, this is referred to as a WIN-WIN.

      The alternative (what happened) was that the government stepped up with capital to preserve the value of the ongoing business to give it time to re-structure and weather the storm.

      It's the difference between stewardship and vampirism.

      •  Thank you. (6+ / 0-)

        So basically Mitt wanted to Bain harvest GM. Makes terrible but perfect sense.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:28:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WheninRome, jfromga

        And that is why he cannot fully explain what he really meant or wanted to do.  

        Kind of like why he won't disclose his tax returns.  

      •  As it is, Mitt made millions (0+ / 0-)

        on the deal anyway.

        He would have made even more had he been able to crush GM and pick over its carcass.

        There was a push on from Lehman to acquire ACDelco, [which accounted for 38 Percent of GM's profits and the was felt to be sound even in the wake of car sales waning] probably pushed by GS and the rest of the vultures.

        Mitt saw more dollars and wanted to push the value down to nothing so he and his buddies could make bank. They got bank, but a smaller piece of it. It was entirely self serving.

        Rattner got owned anyway, he didn't prepare for these guys and he is a little mouse compared to them.

      •  Already happened (0+ / 0-)

        Romeny's friends in hedge funds (Paul Elliot(?) XXXX ) bought Delphi for $.67 on the dollar, it rose to $22 a share, then closed 30+ parts factories, put 25k UAW out of work and sent the jobs to China....

        Greg Palast wrote a diary on this a week so so ago....

        Without geometry, life is pointless. And blues harmonica players suck.

        by blindcynic on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 12:26:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That was a woman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from and she really did say that Romney was right, and Obama was wrong. Got me was on Chris Jansing's show this morning. She just said that Romney was suggesting a "Government Loan Guarantee" and that that made him "right" at the debate. Blech... :(  Annoyed me because so many people just believe because they are "non-partisan". Stinks...

      "What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death." - Eugene Victor Debs

      by DianeNYS on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:48:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  plus the right wing (0+ / 0-)

      wanted to kill the UAW and the union contracts at the car companies,  and by providing financing and making both the car companies and the UAW agree on things to make the federal government hand over the money,   Obama kept the UAW functional as well as the car companies alive.

      But you can't ask for millions of votes based on, 'I wanted to imporverish you workers and cost you even more than you lost in the bailout.'

      Litigatormom up above explained the difference between upfront money, debtor in possession financing, and post bankruptcy guarantees of financing.  DIP money keeps the car companies running during the bankruptcy.  Without that money, no company would have been in tact to come out of the bankruptcy and use the guarantees.

  •  "The people in Detroit won't forget, Governor" nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobBlueMass, FiredUpInCA

    Perhaps one day the Fourth Estate will take their jobs seriously. Or not..

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:08:46 AM PDT

  •  Sorry Laura (6+ / 0-)
    Romney may not have understood himself to be arguing for liquidation back in 2008.
    Given Romney's history as a vulture capitalist, this doesn't fly.  God only knows how many companies he's sent into liquidation.  He knows exactly what he's talking about when he talks about liquidation.

    Obama is not a dark-skinned anti-war socialist who offers free healthcare. You're thinking of Jesus.

    by DMiller on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:09:33 AM PDT

  •  A pathological liar like Romney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Parker, tardis10

    Never admits that they are wrong.

  •  Is his refusal to admit he was wrong (5+ / 0-)

    an indication that Mitt has the same type of sclerotic personality as Bush the Lesser?  When confronted with clear and overwhelming evidence that his positions were wrong, Bush repeatedly denied, dissembled and doubled down.  Romney seems to have the same intractable reaction.

    This is distinctly not a characteristic we need in a president again.

  •  Apparently, the pundits have decided that (6+ / 0-)

    the literally thousands of lies, flip-flops, made-up facts and smarmy act mean absolutely nothing. Even one of the so-called guys on our side, Ed Rendell, say this. (Of course, I've detested this sleepy-eyed punk for months now.)

    It's almost as if Romney could say, "elect me, I'm the first black President," and the pundits would say it doesn't matter.
    You see, he's passed that bar to be commander-in-chief.
    He hasn't scared anybody off. He's an "acceptable alternative." If they're right, and the American public is that stupid, then it really doesn't matter who gets elected, because this country is on a greased rail to the shithouse,
    and I'm outta here.  

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Shakespeare, Henry V

    by Wildthumb on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:10:56 AM PDT

    •  But the American people aren't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DianeNYS, Wildthumb

      that stupid - most just don't have time to delve beyond the evening news or headlines in the paper. The media is not actually willing to report that Mitt is lying so people have no idea that the shit he's saying isn't true. He looks Presidential, he held his own, he gave some good lines. It's all fucking superficial bullshit. I'm with Rachel, Mitt's core dishonesty disqualifies him from being President. It's a character issue that can't be fixed.

      I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

      by hulibow on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:29:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fine, they're ignorant, not stupid, which is even (0+ / 0-)

        more frustrating. Because people can do something about ignorance, but nothing about stupidity.

        Bernie Sanders was once asked what was one of the greatest single things that could change in this country that would mean a big difference in a real progress. He said, "Educate the public."

        And I should say, in this polarized country, to be fair, that only HALF the American public is stupid. (Oh, I'm sorry, ignorant.)

        Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Shakespeare, Henry V

        by Wildthumb on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 02:30:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Whoever gave Romney that "son of Detroit" line (0+ / 0-)

    should be beaten.

    As soon as he said it, I muttered, oh yeah, way to lead with your chin, Mittens.

  •  We need to sharpen that argument (0+ / 0-)

    Romney said this....

    The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.
    Do we know that wouldn't be enough... why...? I want those answers next time I run into a wingnut.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:11:20 AM PDT

  •  Stupid. You can't fix it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I almost feel bad for Mitt. Almost.

  •  He would expect... (0+ / 0-)

    ...others to privately fund where he himself would not even consider it.  But private investment was never going to happen, hence the government investment was vital.

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:13:01 AM PDT

  •  Romnocchio strikes again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Parker
  •  Even in 2008 and 2009 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why would securities funding a revival in GM that had Federal guarantees not be able to find takers?  

    With Federal guarantees these would be some of the lowest risk securities on the market and would have significant upside.

    In the troubled markets of 2008 and 2009 such securities would have investors rushing to buy low risk, potentially high return securities, including institutional investors such as pensions, foundations, mutual funds, etc..  

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:14:31 AM PDT

    •  You are saying,let the worker's assets be (0+ / 0-)

      liquidated (wage gains,pensions etc.) but socialize any risks for future investors. Same old,same old.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:49:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You certainly added a great deal to my comment (0+ / 0-)

        I was just commenting that a privately financed managed bankruptcy with Federal guarantees would have been able to find capital in 2009.

        I wrote nothing about beyond that.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:26:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because this diary is about (0+ / 0-)

          Mitt Romney's approach to the GM situation,I believed you to be making the case for Romney's approach as outlined in his NYT editorial.
          If that isn't the case,sorry.

          "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

          by tardis10 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:31:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My comment was limited to saying that it is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            incorrect to conclude that GM would not have been able to secure private financing with government guarantees as the diary says.

            When I have seen people comment that private financing would not have been possible to GM at that time, it is always without recognition that Federal guarantees were a fundamental part of Romney's proposal.

            It's just a matter of getting the facts straight, not advocating for or against what Romney proposed.

            The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

            by nextstep on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:51:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Again,the most salient point is indeed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              what did Romney advocate. From that editorial:

              The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

              In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.

              Romney wanted a typical vulture capital deal & for the government to step in only after worker's assets had been utterly & completely stripped away. Bog standard, "free" market for the working guy,socialized risks for the investor class.  For further clarification, read the excellent comments by litagatormom (re:DIP financing) and BlueSue above.
              Heck, even The Economist has admitted they were wrong to back Romney's position as,in fact, the private credit markets were "bone dry".

              In other words,simply saying "Hey,Romney wanted fed guarantees,too" is unerringly deceptive without more context. Otherwise, one's understanding of the auto bailout is as superficial as the craptastic inanity being shoveled by the faux fact checkers in the media.

              "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

              by tardis10 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 12:48:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I prefer your arguments against Romney's proposal (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                to the "financing not possible" argument.

                I would also add, that with Federal guarantees for private investors, the financing in fact still comes from the Federal government.

                The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

                by nextstep on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 01:01:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  tardis - most of that happened in the Ch 11 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                There were some of us that at the time of the crises in Nov 2008 who wrote that the only way GM and Chrysler could survive was to go through Chapter 11 and that the Bush administration should require the companies to enter Chapter 11 before any federal funds were advanced. Unfortunately the Bush administration, after Congress had rejected an auto industry bailout, advanced $14 billion to GM and Chrysler before they entered bankruptcy. That $14 of taxpayer money was then gone, never to be repaid to the US Treasury because it was wiped out in the Chapter 11. While the Bush administration saved GM and Chrysler from shutting the doors it did so in a way that did not protect taxpayer assets. The $14 billion allowed the two companies time to propose a longer term financing from the Obama administration which included a structured Chaper 11. The companies required a bankruptcy process because they had two many brands, too many dealers, too many facilities, too many employees, and too many legacy related labor costs to make cars in North America at a profit. It was then the Obama administration's turn to short change the taxpayers when the terms they agreed to for the loans again shortchanged the taxpayers. Under the Romney proposal the US government would have provided a guarantee, but no actual cash and the deal would have been at a market clearing price, which is certainly not the case in the deal we now have.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 01:12:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We see this quite differently. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  (and yes,I know many of the particulars in depth as well)IMO, a singular focus on the investment involved leaves out too many other parts of this particular case. Like how do we want to value labor in this country? How do we want to be seen valuing it? What endeavors are subsidy worthy? Why? How much manufacturing capability do we want to have?How much can we lose? Is social stability a public good? etc. Err,ok,that last is a kind of snark.(barely) But I know you get my point.
                  I'm just not a free marketeer. Maybe if I ever saw one,I would be. Off to ride my unicorn ;)

                  "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

                  by tardis10 on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 01:47:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  sadly, the traditional media (0+ / 0-)

    has decided that facts and math don't matter.  romney/ryan have been allowed to lie, flip-flop, and distort with impunity and the polls have tightened accordingly.  it is really horrible to witness.  at the same time, there is no mention of anything favoring obama anymore (falling unemployment rate, e.g.), and since folks in battleground stats have basically had it with campaign ads, it will be hard for obama to correct the record between now and the election. basically, he or priorities usa needs to run an ad calling romney an untrustworthy, flip-flopping, lier.  It will get media attention if it is hard-hitting enough AND then, maybe, will make romney have to explain whether or not he is trustworthy.

  •  I wish Obama had really twisted the knife: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, jfromga, BritLaw

    "Governor, I realize it's embarrassing and maybe painful for you to admit it now, but the bottom line is that you took the position that the federal government should not intervene to save the auto industry. You even predicted that if there was government intervention, the auto industry would be doomed to failure. At the time, your position was even the more popular one. A lot of people said we shouldn't intervene. Well, I made a different call. We intervened and we saved America's auto industry and now General Motors is back on top. It was the right call."

  •  I'm bored with this topic. The people who live in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the top auto manufacturing states like MI and OH know Mitt is full of shit on this.  Which is why Obama is winning and will win  those states.  So Romney can lie all he wants.  The damage is done.

  •  Republican never admit when they are wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    I was once arguing with a Republican coworker about WMD after the invasion of Iraq.  I started screaming at me that I would eat my words once the WMD were found. He never mentioned it again.

    When you don't vote, Mitt happens.

    by shoeless on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:26:42 AM PDT

  •  The only thing he (0+ / 0-)

    cant weasel on.He is stuck with it and he will lose because of it.He may win the popular vote(racial?) but I can live with that.2000 comes to mind.

  •  It's an alternate reality they are peddling. (0+ / 0-)

    To combat this kind of thing you need really bold assertions and  sound bytes which really encapsulate the issue.

    You also need to make fun of them. That is one reason why 'Romnesia' is good - there is nothing like ridicule to get people's attention.

    If you fall into competing versions of the facts many voters will just gloss over the debate and 'go with their gut'. You have to shake them out of it with the most bombastic methods you have.

    Obama should start calling Mitt 'dangerous' on foreign policy - he should say Mitt and the republicans are 'scapegoating' the 47% which has been 'dangerous' in other societies.

    They need to snap people out of their fantasy world. Regular arguments are not going to be effective.

    Give the people a choice between a Republican and a Republican and they will vote for the Republican every time - Harry S Truman

    by mr market on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:28:58 AM PDT

  •  Diarist is too kind... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, jfromga
    Romney may not have understood himself to be arguing for liquidation back in 2008.
    Of course he understood himself to be arguing liquidation. He knew the consequences of calling for bankruptcy for the auto industry during an economic meltdown...

    ...with no private sector credit available to come in and resuscitate the industry and related services.

    And he knew what the political consequences would be for Democrats, if they followed his insane advice. He and the GOP would have loved it if the WH and Dems were credited with presiding over the bankruptcy of the auto industry and the resultant loss of jobs.

    The starting point for understanding these guys and their public statements is: "What would Machiavelli do?"

    Co-author of the first political biography of Michele Bachmann: Michele Bachmann's America

    by Bill Prendergast on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:29:29 AM PDT

  •  Socialize the losses. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    So, Romney says he supports the government guarantee of "post-bankruptcy financing". We certainly could interpret this as meaning supporting a guarantee of loans to help the auto companies rebuilding after bankruptcy (although my reading suggests he was focused on consumer financing to buy cars and to the support of warranties).

    In either interpretation, he says that while he does not support the government providing the loan, but he does support the government taking the loss should the companies not survive.

    His problem with Obama's plan is that no investment companies made any money on it. Other than that, full agreement.

    Paul Ryan "...the stupid person's idea of what a smart person sounds like." --Laura Clawson

    by JoeEngineer on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:38:26 AM PDT

  •  There is a direct line from 'let them go bankrupt' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to [47% cannot be trusted to take responsibilty for themselves. ]   To me at least, these two hang together as a critique of workers and employees everywhere.

    Forget the abstract critique of mechanisms, governor.  I find this in my own explicit distrust and disgust with you as a candidate.  I suspect--as you said--'Detriot would go belly up in months' was felt by others on the lines all over the Midwest as an insult from someone who thinks you are our superior, as if we are prone to a weakness to freeload.  

  •  Romney understood it was liquidation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Bain way is liquidaton.  Bain was approached as private capital and declined, a fund like that,  if they thought about it at all seriously, would have been passed by Mitt for an opportunity to invest.  He had to have known there was no private capital.

    But at the firesale of assets,  vultures would have made out, they could have had whole car companies set up in months running old US production lines, etc. in some backwater of the globe paying 25 cents an hour.

  •  Hate to say this and hope he doesn't do it (0+ / 0-)

    but with the situation as it is now I think it is entirely possible that if he crafted some sort of apology/admission he would be able to steal the election.

    1.  Apologies work in politics.

    2.  He is a masterful liar, so even though he isn't sorry and doesn't think he was wrong, hell, in his mind what difference does that make?

    3.  He could care less what it sounded like or made sense because he will say anything to get elected.  

    4.  The "undecideds" are really dumb.

  •  Is it just me or when Romney spoke of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Government guarantees" do you think he meant that the thousands of laid off workers would get unemployment benefits and that the Government would be stuck covering their pensions? What Romney advocated was for letting the industry's entire workforce go, reneging on contracted benefits packages and then some time later hiring whoever would come back for a much lower salary, renegotiated work rules and cut benefits. He just won't admit that this is the major difference between his and Obama's approaches.

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      What Romney was advocating that the government guarantee was the availability of future car loans and car warranty payments.  He wanted the government to protect car buyers and owners, not to help car manufacturers or laid-off autoworkers.

  •  If Romney agreed with Obama on the bailout (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    why did he write an Op ed to criticize the policy?

    Read the editorial and one reason is clear - Romney wants the auto companies to use bankruptcy to dump their health care and pension commitments, and to break the auto unions. Not that that would help him with the Ohio voters which is why his position is so incoherent, he can't explain the distinction because it is just as bad.

    We can only speculate about the outcome of Romney's alternative to bailout funds, without knowing details it is not really possible to conclude what the impact would be, whether liquidation or privatization of the benefits of recovery while socializing the risks, or something else, but Romney's claims about the impact of Obama's choice have been proven wrong, and the decisive action of the administration has proven both effective and protective of public interests which would not have been well served by Romney.

  •  The truth... (0+ / 0-)

    Consider Romney's statement:

    "And I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry."

    Seems pretty innocent. But insert a comma and you get:

    "And I would do nothing, to hurt the U.S. auto industry."

    Pretty much sums up his plan.

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

    by itsjim on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 11:13:17 AM PDT

  •  Bush wrote the first checks (0+ / 0-)

    Why do these Teapublicans all go back to the same old tired tune and sing Blame Bush?

  •  We'd be seeing Chinese Chevys (0+ / 0-)

    and Jeeps from India now if we followed Romney's plan.  There was no (Zero, nada, zilch) private capital of the scale required that could have made this happen.  Even with public backing, there just was no private option.  Not that there wouldn't have been some interest, but nobody could make it happen even if they wanted to.  If the bailout didn't happen, GM and Chrysler were not going to have money to even pay their employees for much longer.

    One thing that needs push back is this notion that the GOP pushes that the Democrats wanted to bailout these companies because we are socialists.  This is nonsense.  Nobody WANTED to do that.  It was an absolute last resort.

    The only other option was liquidation.  Being that there was already a glut of auto manufacturing facilities in the US, very few of the actual auto factories would have even found buyers.  At best, some would be sold for the real estate value and be subdivided and resold for other purposes. A number would just sit and rot like a lot of the old plants in and around Detroit now.  The real assets would be the trademarks and intellectual property owned by GM/Chryco.  The Chinese have been shopping for modern automakers in the last few years.  GM was shopping the Hummer brand to a Chinese company before the collapse and they love Buicks in China.  Volvo was purchased by a Chinese company in 2010.  An Indian company bought Land Rover/Jaguar in 2008, just prior to the financial collapse.  I have no doubt the classic pieces of Americana (Chevy, Jeep, etc) would end up in foreign hands.  Not only does that just seem 'wrong', but the reason the Chinese and Indian companies are looking to buy modern automakers is that there current products are not competitive in the world market.  It would then lead to further damage to American manufacturing as they could undercut prices with products that were competitive quality-wise.

    •  What Managed Bankruptcy Means to Mitt (0+ / 0-)

      "Managed bankruptcy" is the vocabulary of a vulture capitalist.  To them managed bankruptcy means "strip it and flip it."  Pare down a financially distressed company to its bare essentials, fire all the employees, reject all the pension contracts, flame all the creditors, destroy the value of any "old" equity and then sell off any hard assets and intellectual property rights with market value to the highest bidder in a highly controlled sale under section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.  This happens every day in Bankruptcy courts all over the country and it is what Bain does to make money, usually after getting control of the assets under foreclosure conditions.  Most people don't really understand what Romney is saying when he uses the term but folks who work in Bankruptcy know exactly what he means.

  •  Mitt Romney: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire (0+ / 0-)
  •  Don't give him the guarantees (0+ / 0-)

    What Mitt said in his 2008 op-ed was that "[t]he federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk."  In other words, he wanted the federal government to guarantee that future car buyers could get car loans after the automakers' finance arms collapsed, and to back-up car owners' factory warranties on their cars.  These would be guarantees to make car consumers whole and confident.  They wouldn't have made GM's and Chrysler's creditors whole or confident.  Mitt's proposed federal guarantees weren't anything that would have stopped those creditors from seeking to liquidate the automakers in order to get what little they could after the automakers failed to secure non-existent private bail out money in order to stay in business through a bankruptcy process.

  •  He didn't talk about government guarentees (0+ / 0-)

    at least in the link you cite.   Here is where he talks about what the government should do:

    It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition. I believe the federal government should invest substantially more in basic research — on new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like — that will ultimately benefit the automotive industry, along with many others. I believe Washington should raise energy research spending to $20 billion a year, from the $4 billion that is spent today. The research could be done at universities, at research labs and even through public-private collaboration. The federal government should also rectify the imbedded tax penalties that favor foreign carmakers.
    Looks like the "help" he is talking about is

       Basic Research
       Tax code changes

    Nothing about guarenteed loans.

  •  "Check the record." (0+ / 0-)

    Voters took that advice and ran with it.

    Romney’s ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt’ op-ed jumps to top of NYT’s ‘Most Viewed’ list

    Mitt Romney's 2008 op-ed "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" soared to the top of The New York Times' online "Most Viewed" list Tuesday, following a testy exchange between the former governor and President Barack Obama over the auto bailout at Monday night's debate.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 02:11:30 PM PDT

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