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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mitt Romney Tries to Woo Detroit By Saying "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" a Second Time, in More Detail

Posted by Paul Constant on Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Mitt Romney is sinking in the polls—he's 15% behind Santorum in the latest Public Policy Polling numbers—in his home state of Michigan, with two weeks to go before the primary. Maybe his famous "let Detroit go bankrupt" editorial for the New York Times has something to do with that? Probably! So how does Romney fix that? Maybe by admitting he made a mistake? Of course not! The correct answer is: By writing a new editorial for the Detroit News that doubles down on the bankrupt editorial:

Instead of doing the right thing and standing up to union bosses,Obama rewarded them...This was crony capitalism on a grand scale. The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.

My view at the time — and I set it out plainly in an op-ed in the New York Times — was that "the American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing." Instead of a bailout, I favored "managed bankruptcy" as the way forward.

I don't claim to be an expert in Michigan Republicans. Maybe—I'm doubtful, but maybe—this is the kind of thing they love to hear. The greater point is that Romney pretty much just lost any hope of winning Michigan in the general election with this editorial, and he took a strong stance against one of President Obama's most popular decisions as he did it. This is not good politics.

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