Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Asked to Help Auto Industry, Romney's Firm Refused

With all the ink that's being spilled in Michigan newspapers over Mitt Romney and his non-stop dancing on the auto industry rescue, some facts are still being lost.

As The New York Times pointed out Monday (Feb. 20, 2012), Romney's claim that the federal government should have let private equity firms come up with the money doesn't hold water. The article states:

"To go through the bankruptcy process, both companies needed billions of dollars in financing, money that auto executives and government officials who were involved with Mr. Obama’s auto task force say was not available at a time when the credit markets had dried up. The only entity that could provide the $80 billion needed, they say, was the federal government. No private companies would come to the industry’s aid, and the only path through bankruptcy would have been Chapter 7 liquidation, not the more orderly Chapter 11 reorganization, these people said.

"In fact, the task force asked Bain Capital, the private equity company that Mr. Romney helped found, if it was interested in investing in General Motors’ European operations, according to one person with direct knowledge of the discussions.

"Bain declined, this person said, speaking anonymously to discuss private negotiations."

So Romney says private equity firms should have provided the $80 billion required to rescue the firms. But his own private equity firm wasn't interested.

In other words, Romney had a chance to put his money where his mouth is, and didn't. He had a chance to help out the key industry in his own state, in a way that he says is the only way the industry should have been helped, and he refused.

As Gov. Jennifer Granholm said, Romney stabbed us in the back in our hour of greatest need.

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