Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mitt Romney channelling Jon Lovitz on the auto bailout

Jon Lovitz used to have this great routine on Saturday Night Live in the late 80s in which his character would tell the most outrageous lie and then punctuate the absurd claim with, "yeah, that's the ticket." It was hilarious because we have all come across people who make up shit and seem to think no one will notice. His pathological liar schtick was great.

Why was I reminded of that today? Hmmm. Well, Mitt Romney must be channelling himself some serious Jon Lovitz as he attempts to take credit for the bailout of the auto sector, something he vehemently opposed.

Romney's claim is based on the following statement, which he gave in a recent interview: "I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and finally when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. So, I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that the industry has come back."

Really? Here's the problem, as the Associated Press summarizes:

The course Romney advocated differed greatly from the one that was ultimately taken. GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy on the strength of a massive bailout that Romney opposed. Neither Republican President George W. Bush nor Democratic President Obama believed the automakers wound have survived without that backup from taxpayers. Romney opposed taxpayer help.

In the now-famous editorial in The New York Times in 2008, Romney wrote, "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed."

Well, that didn't happen.

I guess if you advise people to jump out of a burning airplane to save themselves, you might want to include the part about the parachutes or your advice would only be half right, with catastrophic results.

Yeah, Mitt Romney: "I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that the auto industry has come back. That's the ticket!"

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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