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Monday, February 27, 2012

The GOP's Continuing Problem With Facts - Auto Bailout Edition

Feb 26th, 2012

I am going state for the record that I think Romney will squeak through and take tomorrow's Michigan GOP primary. But, he certainly hasn't made his situation any easier.

The NY Times editorial board writes:

"Mitt Romney, along with the other Republican presidential candidates, has spent the days before the Michigan primary denouncing the bailout that has rescued his native state. Mr. Romney has been especially vociferous in his insistence that he would have allowed the carmakers to go bankrupt, and said he believes they could somehow have clawed their way back to profitability without a dollar of federal assistance.

“The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse,” he wrote recently in The Detroit News. “I believe that without his intervention things there would be better.”

This critique is detached from reality."

That's a pretty mild assessment.

Romney's double-down following the electorate having been reminded of his wildly wrong predictions from 2008 represents not 'detachment' from but, rather, contempt for reality.

The facts are available HERE in this brief by the non-partisan Center For Automotive Research. The NY Times (accurately) sums up their data as follows:
"There are 1.45 million people who are working as a direct result of the $80 billion bailout"
The problem is, the GOP literally doesn't care. So what if that's a fact? It's an inconvenient fact for them ideologically.

Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) has some choice words for Mittens. After all, as he points out, he was there:

"While it is almost shocking that Romney would still cling to the notion that somehow he was right and Presidents Bush and Obama were wrong, by now I think most Americans understand that Mitt Romney is someone who will say anything to win an election.

In a traditional bankruptcy, a company has two options: it can either find an investor willing to loan it the money needed to restructure its debts and reorganize its business so that it can be profitable, or it can liquidate its assets and pay off its creditors. In late 2008 and early 2009 there were quite simply no private sector investors that would be willing to provide billions of dollars of what is known as "debtor in possession" financing to GM and Chrysler. In fact, in early 2009 I met with Bob Nardelli, who was at the time the Chairman and CEO of Chrysler, and he told me that if the government did not act as the "lender of last resort" the company was three weeks away from liquidation. General Motors, which was losing $1 billion per month as car sales plummeted at the height of the recession, ended up needing a $50 billion investment in order to restructure -- an inconceivable amount of money for anyone other than the government at that time. Liquidation of even one of the Big 3 automakers would have begun a chain reaction of job losses that would have put millions out of work."

If it weren't for the relatively less extreme nature of Michigan Republicans compared to their Southern counterparts, Mitt wouldn't stand a chance. As it is, he might still actually lose this thing.

And we know why.

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