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."

“The 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. Former Republican for President Obama

    Romney would sell our country if he could. Romney has no plan for our country he is on a different subject everyday. There is no way he could do everything he is promising, anyone with half a brain knows that. Some of you Romneynites need to stop and think and look into Romney's eyes something is missing, he has not heart, no soul. Running for President is just a frat boy game to Romney.

    June 5, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney taking USA backward with "A Better Amercia"

    Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney is all about selling and making a profit!

    The US of A would be put on garage sale once Etch-a-Sketch Mitt comes to town....and CHINA will buy us off so Mitt can CUT a huge TAX BREAKS for his Rich Buddies and Wall Street Fat Cats!!!!

    June 5, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Romney is a lier greedy bully and a gay basher. Rumknee would sell his soul for a buck.

    June 5, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Myviewis

    I did not misquote Woman in California-if anything I congratulated her for doing so well for herself when she informed us that she was an investment advisor and had gone on a shopping spree.

    June 5, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Fun with translation: "Gee, I sure hope I can create enough pressure to force Obama to sell that stock and realize a loss, so I can then yell and scream about the amount of money the Amurikan peeplez lost on the GM investment. Oh well, even if he doesn't, hoppefully GM will tank and I can blame him for that. If it goes up in value, I'll just call it luck and say it was only because I, Deputy Doublethink, blabbered about the imaginary free market."

    Guess what? The reason not to sell is because you would realize a loss. Hold it and wait for it to grow in value and sell high....or at least close to even. Reports predict growth. It's quite simple.

    June 5, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. B.

    Romney has made One thing entirely clear to everyone now, and that is, he is about -Vulture Capitalism to his own benefit while building a pyramid to himself..

    This is not what America needs right now. We need someone that actually cares about people and that is Obama.

    June 5, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota


    Your obsession with Woman in California is disconcerting, to say the least. I'm not sure what difference it makes to you where she works and I can't imagine why you care.

    June 5, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    "Funny how Democrats only want to bail out union shops.... If GM wasn't a union shop they wouldn't give a rats pitutie"
    Er, so the big banks and Wall street are union shops? Bend over... you post all over, all political topics, all day.... It is apparent you are a republican schill or an unemployed loser on welfare who hasn't go the sense God gave a goose.
    Give us all a break and take one....

    June 5, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Dave Jaipersaud

    So this is the guy that says he has great business experience. So I guess if everyone takes Romney’s business advice, they (“we the people”) would be better off to take a loss now rather than hold on to our investment for a year of two and make a profit. Aren’t we the people essentially the taxpayers, the consumers, the workers? If the Government makes a profit or less of a loss in one year’s time, doesn’t that mean that we would have to borrow less to pay for things like infrastructure, education, social security, Medicaid etc. and hence not increase our deficit as much?

    If Romney was my financial advisor, I would fire him on the spot for such poor advice. Is this the idiot we want to hire to manage our finances? If we do, not even God would be able to help us. I expected less business idiocy from Romney, but time and time again, he keep throwing out stupid ideas and I can’t help but think he is an even bigger idiot than I originally thought.

    June 5, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    We need to sell the stock NOW before the Obama Recession hits in full force, car demand plummets and GM goes under AGAIN, forcing another government bailout. Maybe all the liberals and Democrats in here can buy up all the stock since they are such big union and GM supporters???

    June 5, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. chilly g

    im a democraft and will be voting for the president, but out of all the republican that was running this year would be
    my choice, so either way i win.

    June 5, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    GM is doing good now , Romney doesn’t know that

    June 5, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  13. Namryan


    Definitely you cannot compare, Mr. Obama had to earn his education and his social status, Mr. Romney had it handled down by his father.
    Also, it seems Mr. Romney is ready to give all the taxpayer money still invested in GM as a big gift to the GM to pay its stakeholders!

    June 5, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. 1crusader

    Romney's words were:"Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check".They are very telling.He didn't say that Wall St. didn't need a check when he was for their bailout.He didn't say that those companies that he took gov't funds to buoy for Bain's and their personal gains only needed a turnaround , and not a check.How hypocritical can you get ?It shows who he cares about, who he doesn't care about; and just what kind of leader he would be.

    June 5, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    What would a prudent investor do with this stock right now? Hold it in light of reports predicting growth or sell it and realize a loss?

    This is DOUBLETHINK at its finest. Deputy Doublethink here can't make the argument that Obama is doing the wrong thing or that a loss has actually been realized. So what does he do? He cooks up a talking point for the readicalized right wing Teatroll parrot army that Obama should sell the stock and realize a loss but won't do so for political reasons. Bullshizzle. Obama won't andhasn't done so for the same exact reasons any prudent investor wouldn't do so. But hey, the MSM won't talk about a prudent investor no...instead, they'll repeat Deputy Doublethink's disinformation campaign for him ad nauseum without ever looking at it in a critical light.

    June 5, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Right out of the GOP/Teatroll manual on "how to take the other side doing the right thing and turn it into a negative."

    Doubelthink Rule No. 254: When the other side is doing the right thing, claim that they're only doing it for political reasons.

    Doublethink Rule No. 255: If it is a very safe bet that they will continue to do the right thing, yuo're probably safe claiming they should be doing the opposite anyway....they won't switch to doing what you say, so it will never be proveable that what you said they should do was in fact the wrong thing to do.

    June 5, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Wake up people

    Is this all this empty suit does is attack the POTUS?? Come on Robmey, can't you do better than that?

    OBAMA 2012!

    June 5, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  18. Gurgy

    "Mr. Obama had to earn his education and his social status"-- No, I don't think so. Affirmative Action works wonders. Plus, obama's family was not "poor."

    June 5, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  19. cali girl

    Wasn't Bush a "Business Man?" And that is who we had 8 years with, wars and economic meltdown.

    June 5, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  20. Woman In California

    @ Southern Hottie and Lynda/ Minnesota.

    Thank you.

    June 5, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Myviewis

    As much as Obama had to earn his education and his social status it does not change the fact the Obama has no business experience, has never dealt with business investments, business bankruptcy, Profit & Loss reports, etc... which is very intricate.

    June 5, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. NotFooledByDistractions

    Romney would sell his children if he could make a buck. I'm not impressed with romney's "business acumen" to this point. When he's commented publicly, he's been wrong. He backed failed energy companies – with one going bankrupt just this last week. He's no economic savior.

    June 5, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "How hypocritical can you get ?"

    I really don't know. Deputy Doublethink clearly isn't done pushing that envelope yet.

    June 5, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  24. Mikey

    @Myviewis – "Romney=Governor/Businessman.............Obama=Professor/Author/Community Organizer. Seriously, you can't compare them."
    No, I wouldn't compare them. The President is trying to do his level best to improve the future for the vast majority of "the people" (you know, the WE that is in our Constitution). Romney, like many Conservatives, only cares to improve things for only a portion of the people – the "deserving" ones – often that means the ones that think, act, and look like them. You hear it all the time in many of the posts on this and other websites – people like you assuming that those who disagree with you are lazy, unemployed, out for handouts, and even anti-American. I do not believe that Romney is out to destroy America (like many accuse the President), just that he is out of touch and wrongheaded about many things... and not nearly as smart or possessing the exceptional poise and judgement of President Barack Obama!

    June 5, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Romney could care less about the working men and women in this Country. He is only concerned in winning this election because Mitt does not like to lose. That's what happens when those born to unimaginable (at least to me) wealth decide the money isn't enough anymore. They go afte the power. The power of the White House is the ONLY thing Romney wants. And, he will do anything to get it. . . . Well, he won't get my vote! I know i'm only one, but I know a lot just like me!
    Obama 2012

    June 5, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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