Ten years ago Willard Mitt Romney loved unions. Today, he hates them.
In 2002, while running for Governor of Massachusetts, the Romney campaign distributed materials that read, “it’s more important than ever for union members to work together with state government to promote economic development and job opportunities.”
Contrast that with Mitt’s 2008 Let Detroit Go Bankrupt New York Times editorial where he blames “insurmountable labor and retiree burdens,” as a reason for GM’s downturn. He advocated for the Auto Industry to go under so GM could “shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs.” (Read layoffs.) “Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check,” he adds.
He’s out bashing labor today in Michigan, saying he’d be “happy” to take on union bosses. He claims the reason Obama bailed out the auto industry was because he got “hundreds of millions” from labor bosses during his campaign so Obama is “paying them back in every way he knows how.”
That didn’t stop Tea Party member and Union Conservatives President Terry Bowman from calling Mitt “pro-worker, pro-union worker friendly,” today. He must have been referring to 2000’s Romney.
UAW President Bob King isn’t buying it. In a statement yesterday he called Mitt Romney “the last person who should be talking about the recovery of the US auto industry,” King says “Mitt can try and rewrite history as much as he wants, but when we were at our darkest hour, Mitt Romney turned his back on the industry, their workers and the people of Michigan and in other places where Americans depend on the auto industry.”
Mitt, a Michigan native should know labor’s impact on the auto industry. After all, his father was the President of American Motors Corporation, based in Southfield, Michigan. His Father’s company, AMC was bought by Chrysler in the 80’s and it’s because of Obama’s auto loan that GM and Chrysler are doing fine. GM is now reporting record annual profits and Chryslers sales are up 26% from 2010.
Do you think Mitt has a little more to learn about labor in this country and do you think his newly-minted anti-union stance will hurt him in Michigan?