May 10th, 2012
08:25 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama hits Romney with 'Etch A Sketch'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama labeled presumptive challenger Mitt Romney's comments that took credit for the auto industry's recovery as an "Etch A Sketch moment."

"I think this is one of his Etch A Sketch moments. I don't think anybody takes that seriously," Obama said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" that aired Thursday, referencing the now infamous language used by a top Romney adviser in March.

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On Monday, Romney said "I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back."

The former Massachusetts governor and all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee said it was his view that the auto companies should go through a managed bankruptcy before government intervention.

"And frankly, that's finally what the president did. He finally took them through bankruptcy," Romney told WEWS-TV in Cleveland.

However, in 2008 Romney penned an op-ed in the New York Times with the headline "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" that is often cited by Democrats and the Obama re-election campaign as proof Romney would have allowed General Motors and Chrysler to fail.

"People remember his position, which was let's let Detroit go bankrupt," Obama said in Thursday's interview. "Had we followed his advice at that time, Chrysler would have gone under and we would have lost a million jobs throughout the Midwest."

Romney's op-ed argued against federal loans for ailing automakers, and instead suggested a process that would allow them to "shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs."

"If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye," Romney wrote.

More recently he said Obama "got to the same place I had suggested" by putting the companies through bankruptcy. But he also accused the president of "crony capitalism" because of protections issued to unionized autoworkers during the process.

GM and Chrysler accepted $80 billion in federal loans as part of the auto bailout, a portion of which came under the George W. Bush administration. Economists argue the federal loan ensured a successful bankruptcy process.

In February, GM announced record annual profit, and regained its position as the world's largest automaker.

– CNN's Gabriella Schwarz and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. tumbleweed

    TKYL, "taking a supposedly uncompromising stand on a position only to later take a position directly contrary thereto. "
    you are talking about Romney here right?

    May 10, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  2. Harkers

    Looks like Obama wore out his etch a sketch when he flip flopped flipped yesterday coming out of the closet pro gay! If this causes his polling numbers to slip further we may see the start of his second evolution cycle. No this isn't etch a sketch it's merry go round!!!

    May 10, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. Ol' Yeller

    @Rickster... I couldn't even start to tell ytou where wrong your thinking process is in your post.... I will try and use some small words just to get one point across to you. No private company (including Bain... Mitten's company) would/could put up the cash needed for a privately managed bankruptcy (sorry for the 3 big words). The government had to put up the money or they would have went under costing our country (well, mine, anyway... I'm not sure where you are from, but I'm guessing West Virginia) millions of jobs (not all of the union- BTW). Our President, weighing this possibility and seeing that our country couldn't handle this after losing 700,000 jobs a month under his predecessor (that means the guy before him, you probably know his as W). He did the right thing and even the right wing led hates obama club (aka Supreme Court,) okayed this plan. So maybe you should cry about something else.

    May 10, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. gg

    every bail out was started by bush,yes he should get credit for all the bail-outs–thats why republicans should not be in the white house–republicans = bail-outs

    May 10, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. Orwell seen it before

    On Monday, Romney said "I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back."

    A lot is not enough for this 1% Republican. Bishop Romney deserves all 100% credit, for auto industry recovery.

    His dad ran American Motors in the 60's, the Bish knows auto biz.
    His dad ran Guv Michigan, the Bish deserves POTUS.
    He is the GOP liquidator, their best corporate bankruptcy specialist.
    He made Staples for what it is, GM is a small potato.

    Bishop POTUS for the new American theocracy.

    May 10, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  6. Eddie The Barber

    You probably know by now that Mitt took credit for the auto industry bailout – yup, he said that he really didn’t say what he said on a fake video that MSNBC fabricated about letting them go bankrupt – nope, and he was actually responsible for saving the entire US auto industry now – not Obama. Yup, and I just saw on the Fox website where he’s about to announce that he’s the guy who invented the moon, yup – and next week he’s going to deny he ever said that and will say he invented the sun, yup. And his advisers figure that he can keep this going every week, solar system by solar system and then galaxy by galaxy – all the way to Saturday before election day when he will say that he invented the Universe! Yup – that’s right the whole damn thing – but that’s not all. On the day before election day, he’s going to deny everything he said prior to that day and he’s going to say that he invented “Heaven AND Earth”. Yup – that’s right – he did and not to be outdone by his own self, when re-election time rolls around in 4 years (and he’s saving that for this really big one) he’s going to come right out and admit that he is actually GOD!

    So I’ve seen the errors of my ways and I’m joining the Twitts for Mitts organization that meets right here in my town every Thursday night and we’re going to pray for Mitt – soon to be known to all as GOD! I feel so good now that I’ve seen the light and I shamefully cast away and deny all my years as a registered Democrat and now I walk in the light of the Republican Party with GOD and the GOP leading my way.

    May 10, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. The REAL Truth...

    @Big George in Big D – perhaps you should get off your high horse down there in "Big D" and do a little FACT checking. you might educate yourself...

    May 10, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. Independant Texan

    Yah!!! It was his idea all along--- HARHARHARHARHARHAR !!!! And some want THIS to be our next Prez ????

    May 10, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote:

    But they did go bankrupt. And they were liquidated, And they were managed back into business.

    Most jubs are created by people with substantial means.
    ----------------------------
    You're playing word games, just like Romney. Romney said "go bankrupt", not "go into bankruptcy". Romney recommended the death sentence to the auto industry so that vulture capitalists can come in and buy up the companies for pennies on the dollar.

    Most jobs may be created by people with substantial means in a delusional world. Making them more substantial does *not* mean that they will create jobs. BTW, Most jobs are created by small business, not multi-national corporations, millionaires and billionaires.

    May 10, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Eddie The Barber

    ...also – did you ever notice that Mitt likes to bounce around and doesn't have much of an attention span let alone a memory of what he said in the past? He ran a business that zoomed in like a vulture, ate the meat off the carcus and flew away before the blood was dry. He was a ONE term govonor and then figured he's jump to the senate (not). He flew into the Olympics (another sort term job) and never had anything to do with any other Olympics again. He says one thing one day and denies it while saying something different the next day. I don't think he has much of an attention span, much of a backbone or enough conviction to stay with anything long enough to to make a real difference – just what we need in a president right? Not!

    May 10, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. batjones

    I guess we can place Mr. Romney in the category of a Jefferson Davis claiming that he saved the Union.

    May 10, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Mo-Bama

    Mitt would take credit for giving birth to his kids. The guy is a loon and chickenhawk. One thing he doesn't have is backbone. Sad, pathetic robot of whatever the days opinion is.

    May 10, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. ART

    MItt Romney sleeps with his etch a sketch so he can even use it when he dreams, this man is so phony and un charasmatic its laughable

    May 10, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Sketch and Etch

    Romney is really flip flopping if you consider that he doesn't want the credit he's being given for creating RomneyCare; a model for Obamacare. And here he is seeking credit for what he didn't do; provide a model for saving the auto industry.

    May 10, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Romney is not My Hero

    @Eddie The Barber – I love your posts. Thank you for the laughs.

    May 10, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  16. Mo-Bama

    and

    Congrats to President Obama for his personal support of gay marriage yesterday. That is one fearless politican, not worried enough about the haters to come out and give an honest opinion on something. Bravo Mr. President!

    I heard Mittens camoe out too..."As a Mormon, my religion dictates that marriage is between a man and a woman, and a nother woman, and another woman, and another woman, and another woman...etc

    May 10, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    No bailouts EVER, for ANYBODY, and especially with tax payers money. If banks are too big to fail then they are too big to exist in the first place. GM was in the process of failing for DECADES. And it WILL fail again because all Obama did was exactly what he did with our economy. He tried to create an alterate reality where a fatally flawed company could survive, for a while, until reality rears its ugly head again.

    May 10, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. The REAL Truth...

    Why is it that folks like Four continue to swallow the hype that the 1% need tax reductions to foster creation of jobs?????
    It's bogus... it's infantile and 1000% INACCURATE garbage posed by folks with an agenda.
    The large majority of jobs are NOT created by the 1% – but by small business owners who DO RISK their own capital. They deserve the help, not the 1%.
    If the Donald wants to buy another hotel, he calls up his banker and tells them he needs a loan for x amount. He then has his folks negotiate a rate and off they go. THEY DO NOT USE THEIR PERSONAL WEALTH people ! That's HOW they stay WEALTHY !! Duh!

    May 10, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I regarded Mitt Romney as an honest man, unfortunately he became a politician. So much for an honest man.

    May 10, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Newt warned everyone that Romney's a liar, even though Newt's a liar also, he was right.

    Yes Claudia he did but I have to give ole Newt some credit here. While he is not fit for POTUS in anyway, shape or form he did at least understand government and didn't get his experience online like Willard.

    May 10, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Paul

    Are you people kidding me? Calling Obama's stance on gay marriage a flip flop is ridiculous. To go from evolving to in support of is a million miles away from going from no to yes. Do you know what evolving means? Oh, sorry, you're conservatives, you don't believe in evolving.... or learning.... or adapting.....

    May 10, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    Mitt's audacity and over-the-top inauthenticity are truly stunning. To think Kerry was tagged a flip-flopper. Romney inspires an entirely new definition of the term. He will be easy pickings once the fight starts picking up steam. It really is a shame that this corporate tool is the best man the Republicans could pick for the job of going after a beatable incumbent. Every time Mitt opens his mouth (and stammers inevitably) he hands Obama more ammo.

    May 10, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. Wing Shot

    Of course anything else Obama can give the mindless media to write about other than his complete and utter failure on the US economy.

    May 10, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Erik

    Romney is a supreme phony. Obama should take credit for saving the auto industry and American manufacturing, which we need.

    May 10, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. yogi

    Romney is even wiling to restructure his own conscience to become president. Sooner or later he will get lost in the forest of his lies. The saddest part is that this man has an enormous following in the GOP.
    Let's go straight forward: Obama 2012

    May 10, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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