Mitt Romney has started shaking the Etch-a-Sketch.
During a panel discussion with The Washington Post on Saturday, Eric Fehrnstrom, a top Romney adviser, said that the government bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler were actually Romney’s idea, according to The Hill.
“[Romney’s] position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed. I know it infuriates them to hear that,” Fehrnstrom said.
There is this, the often-cited “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” editorial in the New York Times as the debate raged. Then, more recently there is this, a more recent editorial in The Detroit News that doubles down on that position. In there, he referred to the auto bailout as “crony capitalism.”
The shift in position is even more mind-boggling when you consider that, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, 59 per cent of Americans view the bailouts as a failure. That’s the case even amid record profits for GM and Chrysler’s continued rebound.
Fehrnstrom attempted to clarify Saturday by saying that Romney had called for a “managed bankruptcy” of the auto industry, which he did. But that doesn’t account for his continued attacks on Obama’s auto bailout, throughout the primary season and in a March debate with fellow Republican presidential candidates.
“The fact that the auto companies today are profitable is because they’ve shed costs,” Fehrnstrom said, according to The Hill. “The reason they shed those costs and have got their employee labour contracts less expensive is because they went through that managed bankruptcy process. It is exactly what Mitt Romney told them to do.”
In the February op-ed in The Detroit News, Romney wrote that without Obama’s intervention, “things there would be better.”
So now, he’s either crediting Obama’s plan and claiming ownership of it (an easy argument for the Obama campaign to counter) or he’s just trying to move away from his earlier position of complete opposition to the auto bailout (probably even easier for the Obama campaign to counter).
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