Everybody knows Romney's "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" statement during Michigan's darkest hour in a generation or more. It wasn't so much a statement as it was an opinion he published in the New York Times. And it wasn't so much an opinion as the HEADLINE - "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" - the opinion piece where he said "IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye."
Now that he was proven wrong, Mitt is using his Detroit born cred to openly, shamelessly, mocking a point of pride and a source of jobs in Michigan: the Chevy Volt.
The latest example, they say, occurred last night when a caller on a Boston-area talk radio program asked the former Massachusetts governor how he would describe the Chevrolet Volt.
"Let's see. An idea whose time has not come," Romney responded, chuckling as he delivered the one-liner at the tail end of a 20-minute interview.
Mitt Romney has a terrible case of thinking he can move right on into a group and relate. Like the time he told Actual Unemployed people that he, himself, is unemployed. Ha. Or the time he told Detroit to go bankrupt cuz he's down with living in Detroit cuz he was born there. Remember that? That thing I just mentioned a couple paragraphs up.
One thing that has made my teeth curl over the years was listening to the occasional person disparagingly suggest that Michigan needs to reinvent itself. Romney went there with his "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" opinion piece. As if we didn't know that, already. As if regions throughout the state haven't been trying like hell to do that for decades.
Oh but NOW that we're turning it around with evolving ideas, and reinvention is taking root, now it's the wrong kind. It's the wrong kind of reinvention. The wrong kind of turnaround. The wrong kind of jobs. The wrong type of thing to show pride in, and put food on the table.
The Chevy Volt has been a huge success and GM plans to start manufacturing 60,000 of the cars in 2012, starting this January.
I've been down near the foundry in Roosevelt Park, when I'm out to buy milk and groceries at Aldi, and lately there's been an old, familiar smell that I barely realized was less common until now. The smell of the foundry in production. The smell of people making things again. And you know what? It's not bad at all.
Now that folks are angry about Mitt's statement, does he say he was mistaken or does he dig his heels in and suggest that yes...he was right to hate on peoples's jobs? Of course he's digging in.
But Romney's campaign says slow sales justify the statement, and in an email to MLive.com, suggested Democrats are trying to change the subject to avoid talking about President Obama's record.
"As a result of President Obama's failed economic policies, thousands of Michiganders have lost their jobs, homes, and businesses," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told MLive.com in an email. "The only way to turn this economy around is to elect a new President, and Mitt Romney has the skills and qualifications from a career spent in business to create jobs and put Americans back to work.
Obama? Obama was the only one willing to save American manufacturing. My suggestion to Romney is that he shut the hell up and maybe talk about things he actually knows about, like downsizing and kicking people out of their jobs.
And now, a Chrysler Commercial: