Mitt Romney is earning the ire of Democrats due to his opposition to the auto industry bailouts ahead of the GOP debate in Michigan on Wednesday night.
Democrats had heavily criticized Romney for an opinion piece discussing his views on the auto industry. However, Romney refuted the Democrats on ABC.
I said they needed to go through a managed bankruptcy, said Romney to George Stephanopolous. I wrote an article and said these companies, don't write them a check. They've come to Washington asking for money. Don't write them a check. Have them go through managed bankruptcy. And then, after that process, if they need help -- if they need help, for instance, guaranteeing the warranties of people who bought their cars -- then the government can step in and provide that help. But don't just write a check off the bat.
Romney was referring to an opinion piece he wrote for The New York Times in 2008. In Let Detroit Go Bankrupt, Romney argued that the auto industry needed to go through a structured bankruptcy in order to rise up from the ashes.
The automakers did eventually receive a bailout from President Barack Obama and the Democrats, but only after they did in fact file for bankruptcy. This issue has become one of Obama's often cited accomplishments.
It turned out that I was right, said Romney. They finally followed that advice and the industry is back on its feet.
In response, the Democratic National Committee released a video attacking Romney. It highlights Romney's view that he wanted the automakers to file for bankruptcy.
Let Detroit go bankrupt, is heard repeatedly in the ad as the narrator says, Now, he is coming back and he wants our votes.
Chrysler and General Motors paid back their loans earlier this year, however, only after bankruptcy reorganization and a bailout by the government.
Some people believe in bailouts. I believe in the process of the law, said Romney to the Associated Press back in June. He expressed his support for a managed bankruptcy program where they would have to restructure without taxpayers picking up the burden.
The idea of just writing a check, which is what the auto executives were asking for, was not the right course... It would have been best had the auto companies gone through the bankruptcy process without having taken $17 billion from government, said Romney. Romney affirmed that claim in his interview with George Stephanopoulos.
Obama's team fired at Romney regarding his opinion.
If Mitt Romney was president, there would not be an American auto industry, said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, in an e-mail to ABC. Industry experts have been clear: Our auto companies would have faced liquidation if Mitt Romney had his way and more than one million Americans would have lost their jobs. Mitt Romney must explain to Michigan voters this week why he would have let Detroit go bankrupt.