Mitt Romney, President Obama and the ‘Detroit Three’

Guest Editorial
The high-wire act known as the Republican presidential campaign came to Michigan last week, with the leading candidates at a debate Wednesday night outside Detroit.

While Herman Cain is in the spotlight due to accusations of sexual harassment, the event gave an excuse to revisit some recent history. Namely, the 2009 auto bailout.

President Obama’s campaign last week highlighted the fact that Mitt Romney opposed the intervention that kept GM and Chrysler afloat. Obama approved $60 billion in taxpayer dollars for the companies, while Romney said they should be allowed to enter bankruptcy.

History is with Obama: The bailouts worked. But Romney has stood by his position, arguing that government should not prop up failing private companies. It also is a badge of honor for Romney, accused of flip-flopping on other issues, that he has held firm to his views.

This issue likely will not affect Romney’s odds of winning the Republican nomination. But if he becomes the GOP nominee, it will be curious to see if Obama exploits this issue against Romney in a state where the auto industry still reigns as king.