Political Animal


June 09, 2011 2:15 PM Romney’s awkward trip to Michigan

By Steve Benen

Democrats spent much of last week talking about how very wrong Mitt Romney was about rescuing the American automotive industry two years ago. For whatever reason, the GOP frontrunner is making their task easier by heading to Michigan.

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is defending himself in his native Michigan, where he was met today by a small group of protesters angry over his stance against a federal bailout of the auto industry.

Romney, whose father, George, was once Michigan governor and head of American Motors, wrote a New York Times column in 2008 entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” that advised against a government bailout.

Romney continues to argue that the Obama administration “did what I told them they had to do,” despite the fact that he condemned the Obama administration’s policy at the time. He also continues to face Michigan protestors who aren’t persuaded by his underwhelming spin.

But I think Romney’s biggest mistake here is picking at the scab in the first place. He was wrong; Obama was right. By going to Michigan now — the DNC couldn’t have scheduled the trip at a time more to its liking — Romney gives Dems a chance to keep having the discussion Dems are eager to have. Note this video the DNC unveiled early this morning:

Michiganders aren’t exactly happy to see Romney, either: “Rep. John Dingell (D) said yesterday that he hopes Romney ‘has answers for Michigan’s working families he abandoned two years ago’ and ‘threw them under the bus.’ Former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm offered a pithier take in her own op-ed titled, ‘Let Mitt Romney Go Bankrupt.’ Now, even Michigan Republican Rep. Thaddeus McCotter is wiping his hands of Romney. McCotter, who “supported the government intervention for General Motors and Chrysler,” sent ‘a Michigan message to Mitt’ on his auto failure.”

Welcome home, Mitt.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


Post a comment
  • Ron Byers on June 09, 2011 2:27 PM:

    To steal a well used phrase, Mitt Romney looks like the guy who laid you off. He talks and thinks like one too.

  • DAY on June 09, 2011 2:33 PM:

    But, but, everybody says he is the Front Runner! Ahead of Obama in the polls!

  • Danp on June 09, 2011 2:35 PM:

    To steal another well used phrase, "You can fool some of the people all of the time", but Michigan isn't the place to try this bull.

  • nemisten on June 09, 2011 2:44 PM:

    The lying can only carry them (Mitt, Newt, Palin, et al.) so far. Overwhelming stupidity eventually catches up -- even in the US.

    Hope they keep spending huge wads of cash...

  • patrick II on June 09, 2011 2:47 PM:

    Rep. John Dingell (D) said yesterday that he hopes Romney has answers for Michigan's working families he abandoned two years ago and threw them under the bus.

    A foreign made bus at that.

  • T2 on June 09, 2011 3:06 PM:

    talk about awkward......Newt's almost ENTIRE campaign team just quit. As in QUIT. Get the butter and jam, Gingrich is toast.

  • Kathryn on June 09, 2011 3:11 PM:

    If there is a more tone deaf politician in America than Romney, I don't know who it is. Now Guiliani is making noises about getting in the race and focusing on New Hampshire and I don't think the party leader Limbaugh will rest until Mitt's under the bus and some far right loon is the nominee. He loves the succession gov. Perry of Texas, a Bush clone with better hair but even dumber than W.

  • Holmes on June 09, 2011 3:11 PM:

    Has Willard ever done anything that wasn't awkward?

  • Ben on June 09, 2011 8:07 PM:

    I'm confused about this piece in the article: "'Motor City hospitality dictates a Michigan message to Mitt that our struggling families, entrepreneurs and workers think Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama are not rivals, they're running mates,' McCotter, who is considering his own run for the White House, said in a statement."

    So, McCotter supported President Obama's auto bailout (the one that Romney didn't), yet says that Romney and Obama are "running mates"? McCotter's remarks are a perfect example of cognitive dissonance. He supports the bailout, but just can't bring himself to say anything good about the president (and, as per GOP SOP, Obama MUST be railed against at all times).

  • max on June 09, 2011 9:47 PM:

    Five will get you ten Mitt reverses himself and says he was in favor of the auto bailout. It's his only flip flop left.