Michigan union leaders are chastising Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for taking credit for the revival of the auto industry.
During an interview with Cleveland's WEWS reporter Chris Flanagan at an Ohio manufacturing plant, Romney was asked (at 1:50 of the video) if it could be argued that the plant survived because of the federal bailouts for the auto industry. Romney said President Barack Obama and the federal government followed a plan, similar to the one he recommeded, to take General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy.
"So I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back,” Romney said.
United Auto Workers President Bob King said Romney has no business taking credit for the revival.
"None of this would have happened if Romney had been the one making the decisions," King said in a statement.
He said 2011 was the auto industry's strongest year since 1994. He pointed out the industry has added 200,000 jobs in the last few years.
King pointed to a New York Times opinion piece where Romney argued against bailing out the automakers.
"IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed." Romney wrote in the article.
King also pointed to Romney's repeated critiques of the bailout. On Feb. 14 in the Detroit News, Romney opined that "The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better."