The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action is starting to air television ads in the Midwest which take swipes at Mitt Romney for opposing the federal government's intervention in the auto industry, including billions of dollars in bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler.
Priorities USA strategist Bill Burton said that as the primary moves to key general election states like Ohio, Democrats see an opportunity to wound Romney for the long term. He likened it to the effort in Michigan, by Democrats and labor unions, to force Romney on the defensive on the auto bailout.
“That fight and the attention on Mitt Romney and the auto bailout basically made [Michigan] non-competitive for the general election,” Burton argued. “We’re looking at Ohio and deciding what makes the most sense in terms of making sure that he’s held accountable.”
I'm so happy that Bill Burton is once again speaking for Obama. Oh, how I've missed him. But my personal giddiness aside, liberals are offering up an interesting strategy here that banks on Obama's support from the unions and the public's growing dependence on government.
Despite Detroit's "comeback" under the Obama administration, a clear majority of Americans still oppose the auto bailouts. According to a new poll out from United Technologies and National Journal, just 33% of Americans think the bailouts were a good idea, while a full 55% agree with Romney -- that these companies "should have been allowed to succeed or fail on their own.” The partisan divide isn't even all that wide, with 42% of Democrats opposing the government intervention.
The only place where Obama's bailout stance may help him is exactly where the super PAC will place ads -- in places like Michigan where auto workers generally like the federal government pouring free money into their bankrupt pension funds. The latest NBC/Marist poll shows that the vast majority (63%) of voters in Michigan think the auto bailout was a "good thing," while only 28% label it a "bad thing." This poll also found that a general election match-up between Romney and Obama at this juncture would go to the president by 18 percentage points.
Overall, however, a majority of voters in the Midwest region oppose the bailouts and in related news, a new Rasmussen poll out today finds that just 27% of Americans think government management of the economy is a good idea -- a win for the free market, for sure.