Michigan Democratic Rep. Gary Peters planned Monday to put Republican Terri Lynn Land on the defensive in their U.S. Senate race by highlighting her 2012 opposition to the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, which is widely credited with saving the U.S. auto industry. Peters and other Democrats were expected to draw attention to statements Land made at a Republican National Convention event two years ago in which she backed GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's anti-bailout position. Asked at a Washington Times-sponsored event about Romney and the bailout, she said "I'm with him on that" and noted that Ford survived without the rescue package.
From time to time, some on the right still question the merit of President Obama's 2009 rescue of the American auto industry. But as a rule, Michigan Republicans know better.
For the record, Ford did not participate in the rescue, but it endorsed the policy and benefited from it indirectly.
Land, the Republican Senate hopeful, echoed a familiar conservative refrain, arguing that GM had come to be known as "Government Motors."
A spokesperson for the GOP candidate said yesterday in a written statement that Land wanted something to be done during the crisis, "but was not convinced on the specific plan that was proposed."
That's an odd position to take given the circumstances.
We now know that the Obama administration's position worked extremely well, rescuing the industry and preventing the collapse of the backbone of the U.S. manufacturing sector. Republicans who predicted the policy would inevitably fail had it backwards.
If you're a Senate candidate now, why acknowledge skepticism towards a policy proven to be a success?
Denouncing the rescue of the auto industry is a bad idea. Denouncing the rescue of the auto industry before launching a U.S. Senate bid in Michigan is a very bad idea.