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Joe Conason
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Friday 26 October 2012
Romney’s defensive statement came in response to a remark by Obama noting that the Republican nominee is “familiar with jobs being shipped overseas because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas.”

No Denial: ‘Son Of Detroit’ Profited from Bailout - and Jobs Shipped to China

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"I'm a son of Detroit. I was born in Detroit. My dad was head of a car company. I like American cars," said Mitt Romney on Monday night when he met with President Obama to discuss foreign policy. "And I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry."

That might be considered true — unless moving the most important American auto parts manufacturer to China counts as hurting the U.S. auto industry. But those words now stand as one of Romney's most glaring falsehoods in the final debate.

Romney's defensive statement came in response to a remark by Obama noting that the Republican nominee is "familiar with jobs being shipped overseas because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas." Moments later, he added: "If we had taken your advice, Governor Romney, about our auto industry, we'd be buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China."

Most viewers had little idea what Obama was talking about or why Romney felt the need to rebut him so specifically. But their coded exchange almost certainly referred to an investigative report that broke wide on the Internet, without much attention from the mainstream media so far — Greg Palast's article in The Nation magazine, exposing Romney's huge profits from Delphi, a crucial auto parts company, that moved nearly all of its jobs to China after taking billions in auto bailout moneyfrom the Treasury.

As Palast reported, the Romneys made millions from that intricate deal, put together by one of his main campaign donors, billionaire investor Paul Singer — through a "vulture fund," known as Elliot Management. Having bought up Delphi at fire-sale prices, Singer and his partners essentially blackmailed the Treasury into paying them billions so that Delphi would keep supplying parts to General Motors and Chrysler.

They stiffed the company's pensioners, pocketed the bailout funds and moved all but four of the firm's 29 plants to China.

The neglect of the Delphi story by mainstream and even progressive outlets such as MSNBC has been remarkable, particularly because neither Romney nor his campaign has denied it. If anything, a statement issued by the campaign to The Hill, a Washington publication, seemed to confirm Palast's reporting by attempting to deflect blame onto the Obama administration: Romney's campaign did not deny that he profited from the auto bailout in an email to The Hill Wednesday afternoon, but it said the report showed the Detroit intervention was "misguided."

"The report states that Delphi had 29 U.S. plants before the misguided Obama auto bailout and just four after. Is this really what the president views as success?" Romney spokeswoman Michele Davis said.

"Mitt Romney would have taken a different path to turning around the auto industry," Davis continued. "As president, Mitt Romney will create jobs and give American workers the recovery they deserve."

Taking Delphi bankrupt under the management of Singer and Romney's other partners didn't create jobs or security for Delphi's American workers. After taking nearly $13 billion in bailout financing from the Treasury — with the support of Rep. Paul Ryan, who has also received generous support from Singer — the new Delphi management abrogated the company's pensions, closed all those U.S. plants and moved production to China. And so far, Romney has escaped any questions about why he and Ann Romney invested their millions with vulture investors who used taxpayer funds to destroy American jobs.


ABOUT Joe Conason

Joe Conason has written his popular political column for The New York Observer since 1992. He served as the Manhattan Weekly’s executive editor from 1992 to 1997. Since 1998, he has also written a column that is among the most widely read features on Conason is also a senior fellow at The Nation Institute.

Interesting, There is nary a

Interesting, There is nary a word about organized labor’s involvement in this affair. Why are they receiving a free ride?

Because the article was about

Because the article was about Romney, not organized labor unions. Maybe you should submit an article about the role the unions had in this deal, if any. I'm sure the editors would give it a fair look.

I don't doubt the Romneys

I don't doubt the Romneys made off big time with their early investment in Delphi, but the plant closings is news to me. I would like to see references to the closing of "all but 4 out of 29 plants". Just a bit of fact checking actually. Something doesn't sound right about this article.
This article mentions closing 21 plants.
So does this one. I don't know what kind of "hunch" you have but it does seem that Delphi is playing the bankruptcy game pretty much like the article above indicates. Nothing illegal, just rather cold hearted.

If what he has done is legal

If what he has done is legal by law, I don't see what the big deal is. We are free to check facts and inquire on those in the spotlight. What I see here is a person so creative that he can support himself in a capitalistic society, and the lazy are pointing finger but forget that four fingers point back at the accuser. The problem is, this country has become accustom to handouts and everyone try to keep up with the Jones, but forgets they have to lift a foot in effort. Get off your lazy tail America, stop pointing the finger and instead, hold open a door and say thank you more often.

Romney did nothing to hurt

Romney did nothing to hurt the U.S. Auto industry. What he did hurt the U.S. Auto Industry worker. I'm sure the company, and by extension the industry, are doing just fine with increased margins from Chinese made parts. Intellectuals continually fail to understand the intentions, and thereby misinterpret, the rhetoric of the right. Not everyone thinks like you. Do you really have to agree with someone's point of view to understand what they are really saying? Do you have such a fairy tale mind and are you so uncomfortable with an unjust world and its actors that you cannot see what has always been at the core of the most powerful American businesses? If you are a fair minded person there is, always has been and likely always will be a battle ground between you and people who seek power for its own sake. You're not going to clean it up, get rid of it this time or change the nature of some human beings. At best you will win battles, but the war will rage on!!! There is no happily every after!

Not only did the U.S. auto

Not only did the U.S. auto industry worker take a hit, the whole U.S. economy was trashed. Pensions were slashed and shifted to the U.S. taxpayer. The multiplier effect of U.S. jobs was lost to China, and the billions of stimulus dollars were shipped offshore where they languish in tax havens (heavens). This is a real industrial policy.

All about getting richer, and

All about getting richer, and no sign of being a true American. This person would be really a bad choice to serve as President of the USA.

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