Romney: I would sell GM stock
June 5th, 2012
04:45 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney: I would sell GM stock

(CNN) – In an interview published Tuesday, Mitt Romney said as president he would sell the government's share of GM stock, even if that means cutting a loss.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee accused the president of delaying the sale of the shares as part of a political ploy to avoid a taxpayer loss before Election Day in November.

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"I would get the company independent from government and run for the interests of the consumer and the enterprise and its workers – not for the political considerations of government officials," Romney told the Detroit News.

The government has owned 26% of GM stake (500 million shares) since it bailed out the company with nearly $50 billion in 2009. At just over $21 per share price on Tuesday, the amount falls well below the $51 per share price necessary for taxpayers to break even on the investment.

However, if the government waits longer to sell its shares, taxpayers would lose even more money in the event that GM stock sinks further.

But Romney said it was time to let the shares go, a call to action Romney first made in a February op-ed–also in the Detroit News–in which he urged the Obama administration to sell the shares "in a responsible fashion."

He continued to push for a sell-off in this week's interview.

"There is no reason for the government to continue to hold (its GM stake)," Romney told the Detroit News.

Romney has long been an opponent of the so-called auto bailouts. He wrote in a 2008 op-ed that the industry should go through "managed bankruptcy" rather than take federal money.

"Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check," he wrote in the New York Times op-ed, titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

The Obama administration did eventually force GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy protection, but the bailout provided financing that allowed both to stay in business and reorganize. Each are now profitable again and hiring.

Obama's re-election campaign continued to pound Romney over his opposition to the bailouts on Tuesday, describing his defense of his 2008 position as "outlandish."

โ€œThe simple fact is that GM and Chrysler would never have survived long enough to undergo a private bankruptcy without the federal rescue loans," said Michigan Rep. Sander Levin in a statement blasted out by the campaign.

- CNNMoney's Charles Riley contributed to this report.

Also see:

Barrett says Obama visit would have been distraction

Veep contenders in the spotlight this week

Biden to grads: Don't get cynical

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Woman In California

    Don't worry yourself Willard as the American people will never let you get to make that decision.

    Good night on your campaign.

    June 5, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  2. Tracy

    GM is not really profitable if it still owes BILLIONS of dollars to the taxpayer, and is not paying it. How can you possibly write this trash with a clear conscience? One is profitable when it's making money and its bills are paid. They owe the American people a LOT of money. Get your facts straight.

    June 5, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  3. rs

    He would have closed GM and lost all those jobs. 'Nuff said.

    June 5, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Andrew

    And just like with his 'idea' before where private companies should fund the bailout, what happens when no one buys the shares? Then what?!?

    June 5, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. non issue

    And there goes the auto industry, and the auto parts dealers, the dealerships, the bolt, radio and seat makers, and towns going belly up. Great idea Robmey. Use your Bain tricks for the highest bidder.

    June 5, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Why don't you just shut the heck up! It seems that the only reason for your existence is to make money while not caring about others.
    We don't need your business plans. You are a world class loser who would rather see Detroit go bankrupt than try to save the thousands of jobs it could have cost.
    Then again, never mind, you like to fire people and corporations are people to you.

    June 5, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Myviewis

    Okay, so who's the businessman here, Obama or Romney? Romney knows business, he's the businessman and Governor, Obama does not know business nor was ever a Governor. Seriously, Obama has no idea what to do in a business, why it should go into bankruptcy, investments of a business. Now, if this were about teaching in Harvard or writing a book then of course Obama would take the lead and not Romney.

    June 5, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Bob

    And he would turn around and use it to buy stock in BMW.

    June 5, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    He's right. It is either Government Motors or General Motors. It cannot be both. Time for the GM albatross to fly on its own. I mean Obama saved them right? All is well and good, right? They shouldn't need all those billions in government money. If they need money they can get it from their union owners who seem to have a lot of money to waste on recall elections.

    Funny how Democrats only want to bail out union shops.... If GM wasn't a union shop they wouldn't give a rats pitutie.

    June 5, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. Debby

    GM and Chrysler are hiring? I think CNN needs a fact check on that one. Their cars, trucks and vans are not selling at dealerships so how could they be adding employee's doesn't make sense.

    June 5, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Bill

    Give it up Mittens, it will not work. Plan on having a fork stuck in you by July, i.e. you are done.

    June 5, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Myviewis

    @Woman In California

    Don't worry yourself Willard as the American people will never let you get to make that decision.

    Good night on your campaign.
    I'm surprised that you as an Investment Advisor would think this way about selling the GM stock.

    June 5, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    this guy is an idiot. Didn't he say "Let Detroit go bankrupt"? Nasty idiot, not even deserve to go close to WH. I fear he sells America to China or India.

    June 5, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    @ Myviewis

    I AM NOT nor have I EVER BEEN an investment advisor. You misunderstood a post last week from one of your own that I responded to. I am a legal secretary and have no desire to ever handle financial matters which do not come out of my personal checkbook.
    Have a nice day.

    June 5, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |

    Thus speaks Mr. #47 In job creation when he was governor.

    June 5, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. jon

    He's right Obama has been sitting on the GM stock for 33 months and if he sold the governments share today the tax payer would be in the hole 16 billion dollars, yet the media tells us how great GM is doing

    June 5, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Common Cents

    Wow, sometimes I can't believe the stupidity on these boards. It doesn't take a good businessman (which Romney claims to be) to know that you don't sell a stock when it's down. Romney is betting the the stock will slip further, while every automotive forecaster predicts a continual rise in automotive sales year over year until 2016. That means profit. That means the stock will go up. Again, Romney's playing politics, trying regain ground from his idiotic statement to Let Detroit Go Banrupt, instead of smart business. No way you can let this guy near the White House if that's the way operates.

    June 5, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  18. Myviewis

    Romney=Governor/Businessman.............Obama=Professor/Author/Community Organizer. Seriously, you can't compare them.

    June 5, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. SafeJourney3

    I am sure you would and you wanted GM to go bankrupt also. NO One is going to listen to your advice because it was and is wrong

    June 5, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Bootstomper

    Sell your magic underwear mitt and save the economy and the universe.

    June 5, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. chuck weidemann

    Notice how republicans have nothing to say about Obama on his highly successful fight against terrorists. Only bang on what they think might be a weakness...except if GM goes up a dollar or two or 10 and Obama sold at the $21 Romney said to sell at ...then they would bang on that!! What a bunch of Monday morning quarterbacks. If the government dumped 500million shares what would Romney think is " a responsible way"??? Give us something real etching a sketch as you go man!!!

    June 5, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  22. Vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    thanks for the tip Willard......LOL

    June 5, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |


    Please do not misquote Woman in California again! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a nice day.

    June 5, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Why doesn't Romney close his overseas accounts and invest in the American economy? Has he no shame to pander to the very people he betrays? He believes we should vote for him while his money is safe and sound in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland. No, he has no shame.

    June 5, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Romney, Ryan, Rubio, Recession

    Is he still talking about the auto industry?

    It must feel so bad to be losing by double digits in your home state(s).

    June 5, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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