Latest Solidarity Issue

Statement by UAW President Bob King on Mitt Romney and the recovery of the domestic auto industry

05/08/12

The Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is taking credit for the success of the American auto industry, yet he opposed federal loans for U.S. automakers - loans that ultimately saved more than a million American jobs - in a 2009 New York Times editorial, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Romney has been vocally opposed to the auto loans for the past three years.  He criticized President Obama as recently as February, 2012 in his opinion article in the Detroit News saying, "The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better."  But now he's claiming credit for President Obama's intervention to save the industry. 

President Obama and Democrats in Congress provided emergency bridge loans for an auto industry that was a casualty of a collapsed credit market, when no private investors or companies would provide financing. 

The loans - which were predicated on painful sacrifices by workers, management and other stakeholders - enabled the companies to return quickly to profitability and repay the loans years ahead of schedule. 

Moreover, the industry has added more than 200,000 jobs in the last few years and 2011 was the strongest year of industry job growth since 1994. None of this would have happened if Romney had been the one making the decisions. 

The successful recovery of the American auto industry is a great national success story that most Americans are very proud of. It's an example of how business, labor and the government can work together to find solutions to some of the nation's most difficult problems.  Mitt Romney's values of profits-over-people are wrong for Michigan, wrong for workers and wrong for all Americans who value hard work, shared sacrifice and shared prosperity.