You know, liberals, Obama did pretty much follow Romney’s advice in restructuring the auto industry

posted at 8:09 pm on May 8, 2012 by Morgen Richmond

Mitt Romney stirred up a new round of liberal outrage today by stating in an interview with a local Cleveland TV station that he’ll “take a lot of credit” for the recovery of the auto industry. Romney’s point was that President Obama followed his advice in putting GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy, in order to eliminate their debt load and re-structure their benefit obligations to the UAW. But this was probably not the most politically adept thing for Romney to say given that he was not in a position in 2009 to directly impact any aspect of the auto bailout. But here’s the thing: he’s mostly right about Obama following his advice. From a December 2008 interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox:

But let me make a couple of points in this regard. One is, we want the U.S. auto industry to survive, to grow, to thrive. Two is that if we just send money to Detroit and say, Keep playing the game the way you have, that’s not going to happen. What’ll happen is the industry will decline and decline over the years until it doesn’t exist anymore.

So what is needed is the opportunity to dramatically restructure the costs of making cars by Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. And for that to happen, you’re going to have to have either a very powerful czar of some kind who can step in and open up contracts and change the basic structure of the industry, or go through a pre-packaged, managed bankruptcy. The government is going to be part of this process either through the courts or through a super-powerful car czar, if you will. But business as usual is not the way to preserve these jobs and to build a brighter future for the many people who work in the auto industry…

If the car czar, which exists in the current bill — and I haven’t read the current bill, so I can’t be too specific in that regard. But if that car czar doesn’t have the authority to actually reduce the costs in the industry and make these companies competitive, then we will just be throwing good money after bad.

And the right thing to do here is to make sure that we do restructure these costs. That happens in bankruptcy. There are some down sides in bankruptcy, too. They could be alleviated by government participating in the process, either through a pre-packaged bankruptcy, they call it, where you agree to terms beforehand, go through bankruptcy to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Or it could be done through a special piece of legislation, giving — giving this car czar real authority.

(Full transcript available here.)

For the record, President Obama came to the exact same conclusion four months and tens of billions of bailout dollars later. At the insistence of the White House, GM and Chrysler went through “pre-packaged” bankruptcy proceedings in June and July of 2009, shedding tens of billions of dollars of financial obligations and embarking on the road to recovery (such as it is).

Now again, I doubt Romney will gain much positive traction from trying to claim any credit for this, and certainly not “a lot of credit” as he said today. But Romney has to find a way to counter this narrative that the U.S. auto industry would be defunct if the decision has been left up to him. This is simply not the case, and even in his infamous ”Let Detroit go Bankrupt” editorial in the New York Times, he made the exact same case he does above.  The facts are on his side, and he should continue to push this. But maybe Romney should tweak his messaging a bit and give the President a little credit instead…for ultimately adopting a course of action he recommended months earlier.


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Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:10 PM

There is old GM and NEW GM!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:11 PM

No one pays the bill for old GM?

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:12 PM

They are making record profits!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:12 PM

So, who suffers for the old GM?

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I think Obama went the bankruptcy route once the UAW got their assurances that the secured creditors would be stripped of their legal rights and property, and that the companies would be handed over the union.

Only reason he “figured” it out.

TexasDan on May 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM

They paid back ALL THE MONEY to the taxpayers?

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM

NO! But the MSM tells us so…so it must be true!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

The principal financial obligations that weighed down GM and Chrysler was the greedy UAW contracts, and they still have most of that obligation today. Another bankruptcy in the future is inevitable.

slickwillie2001 on May 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

They paid back ALL THE MONEY to the taxpayers?

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Electrongod on May 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Actually Romney should be hammering home the fact that we didn’t need to give them billions of taxpayer dollars. They could have gone through bankruptcy FIRST.

ButterflyDragon on May 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Show me any idea that was successful for Obama (bailout, OBL, etc)and it will ALWAYS lead back to someone with a brain…this guy couldn’t plan an escape route out of a paper bag…

hillsoftx on May 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Liberals will do what Liberals will do… Regardless of what letter is behind their name.

Kaptain Amerika on May 8, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Interesting poll from a week or two ago: 59% View Money-Losing Auto Bailouts As a Failure

slickwillie2001 on May 8, 2012 at 8:18 PM

I would have thought it would have been better to point out how Obama screwed it up by screwing the bond holders in favor of the labor unions, but I’m not a politician, so…

Count to 10 on May 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM

He should be very careful, you don’t want the tag line that you led and Obama followed (e.g. led from behind)…so elect the real author of Obama’s policies (health care, auto bailout). That will certainly depress conservative voter turnout!

WhyNot on May 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM

A true failure would have been preferable. Sorry.

Bmore on May 8, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Actually Romney should be hammering home the fact that we didn’t need to give them billions of taxpayer dollars. They could have gone through bankruptcy FIRST.

ButterflyDragon on May 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

That would contradict the prevailing media narrative, which would require Mitt Romney to sound conservative. Don’t hold your breath.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:22 PM

……

And with the primaries over, we’re now left with a race to the left.

El_Terrible on May 8, 2012 at 8:22 PM

So Obama’s only real claim of accomplishment was killing Bin Laden?

That’ll surely win him a second term.

Everyone is concerned with nothing but Bin Laden this year.

profitsbeard on May 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM

Show me any idea that was successful for Obama (bailout, OBL, etc)and it will ALWAYS lead back to someone with a brain…this guy couldn’t plan an escape route out of a paper bag…

hillsoftx on May 8, 2012 at 8:15 PM

…even the Banks ‘that were too big to fail’…and JugEars said ‘would NEVER happen again’…are bigger now!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM

that were too big to fail’…

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:25 PM

….to…too?

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

He should be very careful, you don’t want the tag line that you led and Obama followed (e.g. led from behind)…so elect the real author of Obama’s policies (health care, auto bailout). That will certainly depress conservative voter turnout!

WhyNot on May 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Mitt Romney doesn’t care. He’s counting on it to NOT depress conservative voter turnout. He’s going for that much-vaunted independent vote, without which he supposedly can not win.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

So Romney, i staking credit for “Crony Capitalism on a Grand Scale?”

But please, keep talking about the riotously successful auto bailout. Let’s remind the voters again and again that the Obama plan worked and that — in what might have been a swing state — that Republicans lined up against the preservation of two million jobs.

Oh — and let’s drive home that flip-flopper them a little more.

Thanks, Mitt!

urban elitist on May 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

A Czar? For what? To cram down bondholders to benefit the unions? Instead of forcing them through normal bankruptcy proceedings that would have restructured based on actual contractual obligations? He wants to take credit for that?

besser tot als rot on May 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

A Czar? For what? To cram down bondholders to benefit the unions? Instead of forcing them through normal bankruptcy proceedings that would have restructured based on actual contractual obligations? He wants to take credit for that?

besser tot als rot on May 8, 2012 at 8:31 PM

This surprises you? Really? I’ve been complaining about what a repellent psuedoconservative opportunist Willard Milton Romney is for at least a year, and this is some sort of epiphany?

/facepalm

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:32 PM

As a conservative I would not associate myself with the US auto industry and the bailouts. Government Motors is still going to belly up sooner or latter. Probably sooner.

jdun on May 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Uh, does Romney really think that it will help him to link himself with obama’s disastrous interference in the U.S. auto industry? Romney loves him some BIG GOVERNMENT – pitiful.

Pork-Chop on May 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM

That would contradict the prevailing media narrative, which would require Mitt Romney to sound conservative. Don’t hold your breath.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:22 PM

No, we can’t have that.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:37 PM

As a conservative I would not associate myself with the US auto industry and the bailouts. Government Motors is still going to belly up sooner or latter. Probably sooner.

jdun on May 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Does this leave the door open for you to consider the possibility that Romney isn’t conservative?

Uh, does Romney really think that it will help him to link himself with obama’s disastrous interference in the U.S. auto industry? Romney loves him some BIG GOVERNMENT – pitiful.

Pork-Chop on May 8, 2012 at 8:35 PM

In other news, water is wet, the sun rises in the east, and the Pope is Catholic. Film at eleven.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:38 PM

So, Mitt wants to take credit for Obama following his advice on the auto industry “restructuring”. That may backfire. Obama may just give Mitt credit for coming up with the blueprint for ObamaCare, too.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

…to…too?

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2012 at 8:27 PM

..you were correct the first time.

The War Planner on May 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM

So, Mitt wants to take credit for Obama following his advice on the auto industry “restructuring”. That may backfire. Obama may just give Mitt credit for coming up with the blueprint for ObamaCare, too.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:39 PM

The comparison has already been made. Ann Coulter et. al are ignoring it while the most intransigent ABR’s consider it a dealbreaker already. There’s nothing new in this revelation.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:45 PM

OBAMNEY 2012!!!!

dom89031 on May 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Its amazing how many idiots on our side dont know the difference between the failed bailouy and the subsequent managed bankruptcy.

swamp_yankee on May 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

As Obama’s policies prove more and more successful expect GOP to try to claim ownership of them.

The only Obama policy Mitt can take credit for is Obamacare and that’s the one exception he doesn’t want to be even remotely connected to.

lester on May 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Its amazing how many idiots on our side dont know the difference between the failed bailouy and the subsequent managed bankruptcy.

swamp_yankee on May 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Bankruptcy doesn’t need to be managed by any government entity aside from a bankruptcy court. Taking credit for any of it is TERRIBLE OPTICS for a presidential candidate who should be taking any and all opportunity he can to distance himself from anything Obama had his fingers in between November 2008 and now.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Does Romney really want to claim credit for inspiring the takeover of Government Motors and Chrysler being seized and given to the UAW?

malclave on May 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

What Obama did was illegal and unconstitutional.

Dante on May 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

But here is another piece in which the word Constitution is nowhere to be found.

Dante on May 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Does Romney really want to claim credit for inspiring the takeover of Government Motors and Chrysler being seized and given to the UAW?

malclave on May 8, 2012 at 8:51 PM

I don’t think that’s what Romney is claiming credit for. But given how one contractual obligation was violated after another in Obama’s quest to kiss union ass, I also think Romney would have been much better advised to keep his mouth shut — period.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Its amazing how many idiots on our side dont know the difference between the failed bailouy and the subsequent managed bankruptcy.

swamp_yankee on May 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I know the bondholders, who should have had first priority in a normal bankruptcy, got screwed in favor of the unions in the “managed” bankruptcy. And that, unless GM’s stock price doubles, the taxpayers can’t break even on the bailout.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

I don’t think that’s what Romney is claiming credit for. But given how one contractual obligation was violated after another in Obama’s quest to kiss union ass, I also think Romney would have been much better advised to keep his mouth shut — period.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Indeed.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Its amazing how many idiots on our side dont know the difference between the failed bailouy and the subsequent managed bankruptcy.

swamp_yankee on May 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I know the bondholders, who should have had first priority in a normal bankruptcy, got screwed in favor of the unions in the “managed” bankruptcy. And that, unless GM’s stock price doubles, the taxpayers can’t break even on the bailout.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

Waiting for the rombots to commence knob polishing and explain to us why the bailouts and the managed bankruptcy (contract violations and all) were “conservative” in

5…

4…

3…

2…

1…

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 8:56 PM

As Obama’s policies prove more and more successful expect GOP to try to claim ownership of them.

The only Obama policy Mitt can take credit for is Obamacare and that’s the one exception he doesn’t want to be even remotely connected to.

lester on May 8, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Since none of Obama’s policies have proven successful, we’ll never know.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:57 PM

I know the bondholders, who should have had first priority in a normal bankruptcy, got screwed in favor of the unions in the “managed” bankruptcy. And that, unless GM’s stock price doubles, the taxpayers can’t break even on the bailout.

Bitter Clinger on May 8, 2012 at 8:55 PM

the bondholders didn’t have to sign off. They cut their own deal. You should stop pretending you know or care anything about contract law.

urban elitist on May 8, 2012 at 9:00 PM

the bondholders didn’t have to sign off. They cut their own deal. You should stop pretending you know or care anything about contract law.

urban elitist on May 8, 2012 at 9:00 PM

They cut their own deal by purchasing bonds, which was done under contractual obligation, which obligations Obama summarily and casually and grossly violated. All debate and argument to the contrary doesn’t change that fact.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 9:02 PM

They cut their own deal by purchasing bonds, which was done under contractual obligation, which obligations Obama summarily and casually and grossly violated. All debate and argument to the contrary doesn’t change that fact.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 9:02 PM

I’m curious to see the court ruling that supports your argument. Given the amount of money at stake, surely the best legal minds in America were ready to litigate on behalf of the bondholders.

urban elitist on May 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I’m curious to see the court ruling that supports your argument. Given the amount of money at stake, surely the best legal minds in America were ready to litigate on behalf of the bondholders.

urban elitist on May 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Just look back on over 100 years of bankruptcy proceedings. Never before have bondholder considerations taken a backseat to union payoffs in a corporate bankruptcy. NEVER. It is a first, and Obama is directly responsible for it. Contractual obligations were placed aside in favor of government fiat. I’d expect you to be okay with that, but that doesn’t make it okay.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 9:12 PM

It’s always left out that I wasn’t able to live the American Dream of creating a car company a couple of years ago because these bailed out companies were able to continue on and suck up all the oxygen. It’s hard to compete with illegitimate car companies that can flood the market with cars without ever having to worry about making a profit.

Buddahpundit on May 8, 2012 at 9:16 PM

LOL – Willard McDole invented ObamaCare – and now he invented the government car companies!

Real winner there!

HondaV65 on May 8, 2012 at 9:22 PM

No one ever talks about how the Federal Gov’t broke contract law and screwed bond holders.

John the Libertarian on May 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

No one ever talks about how the Federal Gov’t broke contract law and screwed bond holders.

John the Libertarian on May 8, 2012 at 9:30 PM

We’re talking about it here, John. And Urban Elitist and others really do believe that no contracts were broken, and the bondholders weren’t screwed over. Sure. Just like Obama has faithfully obeyed the constitution to the letter./

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 9:35 PM

The only difference in the outcome between the Obama bailout & Romney’s advise to have them go through a Ch. 11 bankruptcy is that Romney’s plan didn’t entail stealing millions from the American taxpayers to pay off UAW.

Dark Star on May 8, 2012 at 10:07 PM

The only difference in the outcome between the Obama bailout & Romney’s advise to have them go through a Ch. 11 bankruptcy is that Romney’s plan didn’t entail stealing millions from the American taxpayers to pay off UAW.

Dark Star on May 8, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Which leads me to wonder why Romney isn’t making more of an effort to distance himself from this debacle. It’s terrible optics to claim credit for the perceived successes of a political opponent, to the degree that Obama has had any success at all.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Which leads me to wonder why Romney isn’t making more of an effort to distance himself from this debacle. It’s terrible optics to claim credit for the perceived successes of a political opponent, to the degree that Obama has had any success at all.

gryphon202 on May 8, 2012 at 10:36 PM

I didn’t meant to sound like I was defending Romney for bringing it up (with the caveat that I didn’t watch the Greta interview, so I can’t say Romney said it the way it is being reported), just pointing out the difference between what Romney recommended & what Obama actually did.

Dark Star on May 8, 2012 at 11:42 PM

The facts are on his side, and he should continue to push this. But maybe Romney should tweak his messaging a bit and give the President a little credit instead…for ultimately adopting a course of action he recommended months earlier.

Yeah, I tried to make that same point in an earlier thread today in the headlines but the Dem trolls had so infested the thread it wasn’t worth belaboring the point.

Romney is a lot better than people are giving him credit for and he says things in more no-nonsense direct ways than people who are looking for emotional spin and hype are used to hearing. It’s sort of like being used to walking down the street with clubs with “barkers” outside and suddenly there is this quiet, sane guy saying things in a rather businesslike tone of voice. People aren’t used to that. They are used to the hyperbole and hype and over the top emotional hooks and they criticize Romney for not doing that. I think people need to slow down, stop, and really look at what he is saying and take it at face value.

crosspatch on May 9, 2012 at 12:21 AM

Which is yet another reason to eject Obama and wish for someone other than Romney. It’s 100% wrong for the president to be following anyone’s advice in restructuring the auto industry. The problem with the proposition is the president restructuring the auto industry.

Talk about your giant, gaping windows for governmental overreach, incompetence, and graft. There is nothing positive — nothing whatsoever — about the president restructuring the US auto industry. It’s all bad. It will never be anything but bad. It cannot be anything other than bad. It’s the highway to the “H” place whose name you can’t say at Hot Gas.

Give me a president who recognizes it as unconstitutional — and also just plain bad — for the person in his office to “restructure the auto industry.” Our liberties will not survive if we don’t get one.

J.E. Dyer on May 9, 2012 at 1:45 AM

Its amazing how many idiots on our side

Stopping right there would have been good enough.

crosspatch on May 9, 2012 at 2:01 AM

So AGAIN Romney is like 0bama, or perhaps vice versa, but WHO WOULD HAVE THUNK IT, and why should anyone vote for Romney when he is pretty much already in the White House?

I certainly do hope the Romney supporters volunteer to work for the GOP this year. They need someone that can give good reasons for voting for 0bama lite.

DannoJyd on May 9, 2012 at 2:57 AM

So AGAIN Romney is like 0bama

DannoJyd on May 9, 2012 at 2:57 AM

No, Jacka$$, again the Democrat troll misses the point. Obama is NOT like Romney. If Obama were like Romney he would have started the bankruptcy proceedings much earlier before flushing some 10 billion dollars down the toilet first.

Romney said from the start not to waste money trying to prop them up, allow them to go into BK and restructure. Obama tried to prop them up wasting billions in the process before it finally became clear that the only choice was BK.

crosspatch on May 9, 2012 at 3:06 AM

No, Jacka$$, again the Democrat troll misses the point.

crosspatch on May 9, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Again posting like a losing liberal? How Willard like of you…

You know, liberals, Obama did pretty much follow Romney’s advice in restructuring the auto industry

So the point is that liberal 0bama took liberal Romney’s advice, or to put it another way, he AGAIN followed Mittens liberals blueprint that also gave us 0bamacare.

Why vote for Romney when 0bama is already governing with Romney’s plans? /S

DannoJyd on May 9, 2012 at 6:32 AM

morning joe crew ragging on mitt for his statement

cmsinaz on May 9, 2012 at 7:06 AM

Looking forward to having a competent adult in the White House starting next January…

That would be Mittens…

Khun Joe on May 9, 2012 at 7:08 AM

It’s actually easy to make the argument that GM and Chrysler would be doing as well or better today if the government had not bailed them out.

Simply look at all of the other major corporations, for example every major airline, that entered into bankruptcy, restructured, forced major concessions from their unions, and emerged leaner and more competitive. And they did it without a dollar of bailout money.

Now if every other major corportion can restructure and emerge more competitive after bankruptcy, then what was the obstacle that prevented GM and Chrysler from doing the same?

The answer, of course, is nothing. The GM/Chrysler baliouts were a political maneuver to keep the influential auto unions firmly in the Democrat’s voting block. To that end no amount of taxpayers’ dollars or would be spared and the legal rights of private investors would be ignored.

Romney was right. If you are too big to fail then you are also too big to succeed. Restructure under Chapter 11 and move on.

BMF on May 9, 2012 at 7:16 AM

I must have missed that part where Governor Romney advocated the US government taking an ownership interest in GM when no private capital was forthcoming. When did he say that?

plewis on May 9, 2012 at 9:34 AM

There are some things you are better off not taking credit for. A ‘managed bankruptcy” which awards the industry to government and union control would be a prime example.

Hucklebuck on May 9, 2012 at 11:45 AM

For the record, President Obama came to the exact same conclusion four months and tens of billions of bailout dollars later. At the insistence of the White House, GM and Chrysler went through “pre-packaged” bankruptcy proceedings in June and July of 2009, shedding tens of billions of dollars of financial obligations and embarking on the road to recovery (such as it is).

Obama would have done that right from the start, but he had f*ck over the bond holders first so he could pay off his union slugs.

woodNfish on May 9, 2012 at 2:37 PM