Romney Said What?

Rush Limbaugh started out today’s radio show aghast. He teased about something he had heard from Mitt Romney in an interview this morning.

I am sharing the transcript of it for full effect:

Now, ladies and gentlemen, let me find this. This is from TheHill.com. You are not going to like this. Let me just read it to you. It is by a Jonathan Easley (I always like to put the journalist’s name to the story), and we’re gonna assume that it’s true. We don’t know if it is or not. It’s in the mainstream media. “On the heels of his decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney took the attacks on his private sector record used by GOP rivals and turned them against President Obama. Romney’s critics have accused him of destroying jobs in order to increase profits for his investment firm, Bain Capital, but speaking Wednesday on CBS, Romney said…” Are you sitting down? “Romney said that what he did” running Bain Capital was…

Are you sitting down? If you’re driving, you might want to pull off to the side of the road here. “[S]peaking Wednesday on CBS, Romney said that what he did [with Bain Capital] was no different…” Are you sitting down? Are you paying very close attention? Look at me. Do I have you here? According to TheHill.com and Jonathan Easley. Today on CBS, “Romney said that what he did [with Bain Capital] was no different” Dadelut dadelut dadelut! from what Barack Obama did bailing out the auto industry. Thud! Kerplunk! You’ve got to be kidding me. The next paragraph is a quote from Romney. Are you still sitting down?

“In the general election I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins at General Motors and Chrysler — closed factories, closed dealerships, laid off thousands and thousands of workers — he did it to try to save the business.” So TheHill.com is reporting that Romney on CBS today said that what he did with Bain Capital is no different than what Obama did in taking over the auto companies. Obama had to lay people off; Obama had to streamline the place to make them profitable. So he’s accepting the premise that Newt and Perry have put out there, apparently, that he has gone into these companies with a chainsaw — and now he is using Obama and what he did at General Motors and Chrysler as: Hey, the president did it! Now, General Motors and Chrysler are not profitable, and… (sigh)

You just don’t, if you are the leader in the race for the Republican nomination, come out and give tacit approval to the government takeover of General Motors and Chrysler and then compound that by saying: Hey, what I did is no different. I was trying to save the businesses.

Rush continued:

Now, ladies and gentlemen, to be clear, Romney has said this before. He was on Bill O’Reilly’s show (that’s on the Fox News Channel, eight o’clock) on December the 20th and Romney said on that show, “‘The president has had one experience overseeing an enterprise, a couple of enterprises: General Motors and Chrysler. What did he do? He closed factories and he laid off people. He didn’t do it personally but his people did. Why did he do it? Because he wanted to save the enterprise. He wants to make it profitable so it can survive.’ Romney’s comments came as scrutiny intensified over company’s controlled by based upon the company.” That’s back on December 20th.

So he said this and his point is, obviously: Well, look, Obama’s taxpayer dollars; I was using private sector dollars and so forth. The problem with it is (and the AP, by the way, is saying that the new line of defense “is part of an effort by Romney to shield himself against criticism that as a partner in the equity firm Bain Capital, that they slashed tens of thousands of jobs.” So I know what the thinking is. The thinking is, “Hey, look at me! I’m no different than what Obama did, and you love Obama. You don’t criticize Obama for doing this, so you can’t criticize me for doing it. We did the same thing.” Uh, sorry. That… I’m not a politician, and I don’t measure things I say in a political context. I just don’t. That’s why I don’t run for office: I couldn’t do it what these people do.

I don’t know how you say this. You’ve just accepted the premise of the Newt and Perry criticism! You just accepted the premise with this comment to CBS today, and you’re trying to blunt the criticism and saying, ‘Well, I’m no different than Obama.” Mitt, would you take over General Motors and Chrysler if you’re president, is that what you’re saying? And, by the way, who the hell says that Obama’s trying to save the companies? Who the hell says that Obama cares about profitability? That’s not why Obama took over those companies! If anybody remembers, it was the Romneys that owned those companies that got the shaft: The bondholders.

The bondholders — who had the first dibs on any bankruptcy or payoff or payback, anything that was made whole to General Motors — who have more say so than stocking were told by Obama (summarized): “Get the hell outta here! You’re greedy! It’s people like you that have caused this country to end up being so unfair. I’m giving this company to the unions, and the reason that I’m saving this company is to save pensions and health care benefits — and so I can market a stupid-ass car that nobody wants. I don’t care about profit!” Folks, I do not understand what is so hard to understand about this. Why in the world would anybody seeking the Republican presidential nomination try to shield themselves from criticism by hiding behind Obama?

Now, this is where I don’t get it politically — and maybe the political experts have looked at this and said, “Okay, this is the best way to handle it,” and maybe the consultants are saying, “They love Obama. They’ve not ripped Obama for taking over General Motors. They’ve not ripped Obama for people lost their jobs they’ve not ripped President Obama for people who lost their investments so they’re not gonna rip you.” Really? Ooookay. Anyway, the idea that Barack Obama took over General Motors and Chrysler for any benevolent reasons or any capitalistic reasons is simply absurd, ladies and gentlemen. Obama wanted to save the UAW’s pension fund! I’ll tell you what else he wanted to do — and let us never forget this.

Barack Obama thinks this country has been inherently unfair since its founding. Barack Obama thinks that this is a country that was assembled by and governed by the 1% white power brokers from the get-go, and they have had stewardship over this country and they have slanted everything.

Rush is right. This is a very troubling development and it underscores that Romney may be perceived as Obama light.

What’s next? Romney has already stuck with his Massachusetts brand of Obamacare – in fact, his advisors talked to Obama while it was being crafted. It makes me think he would not repeal it, just rearrange its deck chairs.

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