Perhaps in an effort to downplay recent attacks by his GOP opponents, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said today on CBS that the layoffs and restructuring that occurred during his time at Bain Capital were similar to actions taken by President Barack Obama during the federal takeover of General Motors and Chrysler.
Did he really make that comparison?
See for yourself via FOX Nation:
“In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler — closed factories, closed dealerships laid off thousands and thousands of workers — he did it to try to save the business,” Romney said Wednesday on CBS. “We also had the occasion to do things that are tough to try and save a business."
After The Hill's Jonathan Easley reported the former governor's remarks, some conservative analysts were shocked. Most notably, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.
“You don’t give tacit approval to the government takeover of GM and Chrysler and then compound that by saying, ‘Hey! What I did is no different,’” Limbaugh said.
Hear Limbaugh examine Romney's comments via Daily Rushbo:
"I know what the thinking is," Limbaugh said. "The thinking is, 'Hey, look at me! I'm no different than what Obama did, and you love Obama. You don't criticize Obama for doing this, so you can't criticize me for doing it. We did the same thing.'"
Limbaugh continued his criticism:
I don't know how you say this. You've just accepted the premise of the Newt and Perry criticism! You just accepted the premise with this comment to CBS today, and you're trying to blunt the criticism and saying, "Well, I'm no different than Obama."
Mitt, would you take over General Motors and Chrysler if you're president, is that what you're saying? And, by the way, who the hell says that Obama's trying to save the companies? Who the hell says that Obama cares about profitability? That's not why Obama took over those companies! If anybody remembers, it was the Romneys that owned those companies that got the shaft: The bondholders.
The bondholders -- who had the first dibs on any bankruptcy or payoff or payback, anything that was made whole to General Motors -- who have more say so than stocking were told by Obama (summarized): "Get the hell outta here! You're greedy! ...I'm giving this company to the unions, and the reason that I'm saving this company is to save pensions and health care benefits -- and so I can market a stupid-ass car that nobody wants. I don't care about profit!"
"Folks," Limbaugh said after a brief pause, "I do not understand what is so hard to understand about this. Why in the world would anybody seeking the Republican presidential nomination try to shield themselves from criticism by hiding behind Obama?"
Is Limbaugh reading too much into the former governor's remarks, or is Romney actually trying to defend his record by "hiding behind Obama"? Furthermore, does anyone really believe that the Obama administration had the best interests of General Motors in mind when they decided to bailout the auto manufacturer?