Auto Workers Stalk Romney In New Hampshire

The nomination almost within his grasp, attacks intensify.

A Manchester, N.H. used car lot displays a sign in support of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

NASHUA,N.H. — In the latest episode of a campaign being waged by Mitt Romney’s diverse opponents to characterize him as a greedy job-cutter, representatives of the United Auto Workers showed up at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast here to press him on his opposition to the 2008 auto bailout.

Outside the event, a small group of protesters marched in a circle, chanting, “Romney gets the loot! Workers get the boot!”

Inside the Radison in Nashua, Julie Kushner, a UAW elected director from Connecticut, stood up and interrupted Romney to preach about the harm that would have been caused if his position regarding the bailouts had been implemented. (In 2008, Romney penned an op-ed for the New York Times titled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”)

“It would be better if GM had gone under?” the woman challenged Romney. “Over a million jobs were saved, good-paying jobs.”

Romney was reluctant at first to engage Kushner because organizers hadn’t called on her, but he eventually responded that he would have preferred GM’s creditors taking ownership of the company “instead of being owned by the UAW.”

“The market works better than the president stepping in an taking care of his friends,” Romney said to loud applause, then made a quick escape before the exchange could continue.

Outside the hotel ballroom, Kushner told reporters, “I tried to be respectful… but we have a different values system.”

“He made millions of dollars and some of those companies went under,” she said. “There are real people in those companies, and when their jobs go under they have nowhere to go.”

Versions of this attack have been made with increasing frequency in recent weeks, and they’ve been made by everyone from Rick Perry to the DNC.

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