Romney press release skips over Detroit tough love
February 22nd, 2012
04:47 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney press release skips over Detroit tough love

(CNN) - Touting an endorsement from The Detroit News, Mitt Romney's campaign sent out a press release announcing the news Wednesday morning.

But the e-mail skipped over a few key paragraphs in the editorial, namely sentences that offered criticism of the Republican presidential candidate.

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While much of the article lauded Romney as the most experienced and electable candidate, the editorial board included a few points of contention:

"We disagree with Romney on a point vital to Michigan – his opposition to the bailout of the domestic automobile industry. Romney advocated for a more traditional bankruptcy process, while we believe the bridge loans provided by the federal government in the fall of 2008 were absolutely essential to the survival of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp."

But the editorial board went on to write that the issue "wasn't a differentiator in the GOP primary, since the entire field opposed the rescue effort."

The Romney press release, however, replaced that section with a simple:


Other paragraphs replaced with ellipses included the board's analysis on the volatile presidential race, naming several candidates "who have enjoyed a burst of popularity at Romney's expense." The article also mentioned that "very conservative Republicans have been lukewarm to Romney because of his history of more moderate positions on social issues."

That, too, was left out of the Romney email.

To be fair, the release omitted harsh criticism of his opponents, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, as well. The release also included a link to the full story at the top of the email.

The Detroit News' editorial page editor, Nolan Finley, said he contacted the Romney campaign after media reports highlighted the press release.

"We would prefer - if they are going to excerpt pieces of the editorial and not the complete editorial - that they would have indicated that they were excepts," he told CNN. "This was such a long cut and paste that I think it did create some confusion as to whether this was the whole editorial or not."

The Romney campaign told him they circulated excerpts, rather than the full text, because of copyright "legal concerns," Finley said, and he was assured a link to the full text did and would accompany any excerpts.

This isn't the first time Romney's campaign has carved out negative commentary when sending out newspaper endorsements (of which Romney has many). It left out similar critical passages in its release on The Des Moines Register endorsement in December, for example, as well as an editorial from The Tampa Bay Times in January.

While copyright laws may play a role in restricting the amount of material a campaign can legally disseminate, the email blasts leave out largely negative material. In the case of The Detroit News, the campaign skipped over the primary point of criticism on Romney's opposition of the auto bailouts, a big issue in Michigan.

Also see:

Graham clarifies remarks on Obama's faith

New Poll: All knotted up in Michigan

Support from men and evangelicals boosts Santorum nationally

The Detroit News endorses Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Michigan • Mitt Romney
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Four and The Door wrote: quickly you forget, Marie MD. GM and Chrysler did go bankrupt anyway. But because of Obama the taxpayers forked over $60 billion to become a part of it. And American taxpayers are still part owner while GM sends thousands of jobs to China. Kind of awkward, isn't it? Thank Obama.
    -------------------- quickly you forget, and get caught in Mitt Romney's misleading statements. Romney says that the auto makers would have gone through a structured bankruptcy, anyway. Wrong, they would have been liquidated to the highest bidder. You forget that in order to go through a structured bankruptcy, you need to finance it and the big banks would not loan them billions that they needed to survive while they reorganized. So, they turned to the government, instead.

    Furthermore, all 3 of the big 3 automakers sought federal loans. When the Obama administration presented their terms and conditions [exactly like what a private bank would do] Ford opted out of the program. GM and Chrysler opted in, and the rest is history. The taxpayers will get their money back, with interest, when the stock price of GM hits near the $60 range. It is well on its' way to reaching that mark.

    February 22, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    ...So you think it would have been better to let the industry, including all the related businesses like suppliers, go under or take a huge hit?
    Ford survived without tax dollars. So did Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW, Volkswagen and a bunch of other foreign manufacturers that also assemble in the US. If you say but those are foreign owned companies, so is Chrysler. Now.
    It doesn't matter. They manufacture in the US and according to you everyone in the industry was going under. I don't think so.

    February 22, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Four wrote:

    Income tax is for personal employment income. Capital Gains tax is strictly for monetary investment income.

    Capital Gains taxes are lower to encourage people to invest their savings in businesses to help grow the economy instead of spending it yourself on houses, boats, cars....
    That last is the most ridiculous argument that I have ever heard defending the lower capital gains rates Bush installed. Yet, it is also the best illustration of the misguided ideas behind boom-and-bust tax policies. Demand creates jobs, Four. Saving it overseas in the Cayman Islands does not.

    You hit the nail on the head, though. Mitt Romney is a texbook example of what is wrong with our tax code. Romney is a salesman, first and foremost. Here's the problem. Suppose my company sells widgets, when I pay myself it is called earned income. Romney's company sold capital, when he paid himself it is called capital gains. Just because you sell money, then your income is taxed at a lower rate than if you sold widgets. That is grotesquely unfair. Bush installed these ridiculous tax policies, and Pres. Obama will remove them.

    February 22, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
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