U.S. President Barack Obama (C) walks with Master Lock Senior Vice President Bob Rice (R) and UAW Representative Michael Bink during a tour of the Master Lock factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin February 15, 2012. Obama toured the business to highlight his ‘blueprint for an economy built to last.’
In a speech to the United Autoworkers Union in Washington, President Barack Obama took a thinly-veiled shot at Mitt Romney’s position on the auto-bailout, accusing him of trying to “completely rewrite history.”
Outlining the steps his administration took to save the auto industry, Obama said, “The other option we had was to do nothing, and allow these companies to fail. In fact, some politicians said we should. Some even said we should ‘let Detroit go bankrupt,’” a reference to the Mitt Romney op-ed from 2008 on the subject.
“I’ve got to admit, it’s been funny to watch some of these politicians completely rewrite history now that you’re back on your feet,” Obama said, launching into a point-by-point critique of Romney’s recent comments on the bailout but not mentioning his principal GOP opponent by name.
Even some of Romney’s own endorsers, like Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, disagree with his position on the bailout — and if it doesn’t hurt him today, it will in November when the Democrat-leaning unions cast their ballots.
More from Obama:
“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. Really? Even by the standards of this town, that’s a load of you-know-what. About 700,000 retirees saw a reduction in the health care benefits they had earned. Many of you saw hours reduced, or pay and wages scaled back. You gave up some of your rights as workers. Promises were made to you over the years that you gave up for the sake and survival of this industry, its workers, and their families. You want to talk about values? Hard work – that’s a value. Looking out for one another – that’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together – that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper – that is a value.
But they’re still talking about you as if you’re some greedy special interest that needs to be beaten. Since when are hardworking men and women special interests? Since when is the idea that we look out for each other a bad thing? To borrow a line from our old friend Ted Kennedy: what is it about working men and women they find so offensive?”