President Barack Obama slammed the Republican Party Tuesday in a speech, saying that the GOP would have let the auto industry die, according to the Detroit News.
"This notion that we should have let the auto industry die, that we should pursue anti-worker policies in hopes unions like yours will unravel — it's part of that same old you're-on-your-own philosophy that says we should just leave everyone to fend for themselves," Obama said.
Obama took aim at Romney, who won Tuesday's Michigan primary, during a speech in front of close to 1,600 United Auto Workers union members, both currently working and retired. The criticism was sharply pointed at Romney's November 2008 commentary in the New York Times headlined "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
"It's been funny to watch some of these politicians completely rewrite history now that you're back on your feet," Obama said. "These are the folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, 'You can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.' Now they're saying they were right all along. Or worse, they're saying that the problem is that you, the workers, made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions."
Obama said the $85 billion auto bailout worked and the Republican approach of allowing General Motors and Chrysler to go into bankruptcy would have destroyed Detroit.
"If we had turned our backs on you, if America had thrown in the towel, GM and Chrysler wouldn't exist today. The suppliers and distributors that get their business from those companies would have died off, too. Then, even Ford could have gone down, as well," Obama told attendees.
Without action, Obama said, "production: shut down. Factories: shuttered. Once-proud companies chopped up and sold off for scraps. And all of you — the men and women who built these companies with your own hands — would've been hung out to dry."
Many want to argue that the bailout hasn't helped anything because Chrysler is 60 percent owned by Italians and GM stock is down year over year. But if there was no bailout, the economy would have taken another major hit, and millions of people would have been unemployed, adding to our already bloated unemployment-benefits line. The Obama administration's bailout of the auto industry was the only decision to make.
Read more at the Detroit News.