Clinging to his discredited claims. (Joshua Lott/Reuters)
Mitt Romney campaigned in Michigan Tuesday, which inevitably means he made a fresh round of fraudulent claims
about President Obama's auto rescue and the wisdom of Mitt Romney's suggestions thereon:
My policy had the same objective as the people in Detroit: I wanted to see the auto industry thrive and grow, and felt it needed a managed bankruptcy to be able to do so. It took the president a little longer to come around to that way of thinking," Romney told WOOD TV8, according to a portion of the interview the network previewed. "He ultimately took the auto industry through bankruptcy. They went through that process. And now, with support they have received from government and the American people, they have come back strong. That's a good thing. I would have done it faster than he did and saved us about $20 billion."
This is the problem when Mitt Romney is relatively consistent: It is so wearisome to have to list, again and again, the ways he is shamelessly distorting the facts. Here we have his tale of himself as a prophet, ignored at first but then heeded, only to have his prophecy denied by those who benefited from it. This is, of course, false.
Romney continues to insist that the auto companies should have been put into managed bankruptcy at a moment when that was impossible, when bankruptcy would have meant liquidation. There was no private money available for a managed bankruptcy; the only way to keep GM and Chrysler open was government money, and the alternative was, yes, liquidation. There are only so many ways to say this, but it has been said by sources as varied as the Bush administration, the Obama administration, Chrysler's bankruptcy judge, and independent economists from both parties.
But Romney is not interested in the facts. He's banking on not being called out on his lies consistently enough to make lying a losing strategy. Claiming credit for the managed bankruptcy that happened months, and one bailout, after his at-the-time-impossible call for managed bankruptcy is a winner for Mitt Romney as long as, I don't know, maybe two out of three reporters let him get away with it. So, damn the facts, he's going with it. This should not be a hard one for reporters: if you're planning to ask Romney about the auto rescue, you know his talking points ahead of time, and the needed follow-up is not a mystery. Press him on this one.