On the surface of it, the statement by top Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom is utterly ridiculous. “[Romney’s] position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed. I know it infuriates them to hear that.” Romney himself made similar statements just before the Michigan Primary last February. “The president finally came around to my own view that Detroit needed to go through managed bankruptcy, the auto companies needed to go through managed bankruptcy to shed their excess costs.”
That wasn’t the way Romney’s opinion piece in the New York Times came off in November 2008, however. At the time he was adamant that there was no role for the US government to write “a blank check” to save the US auto industry.
In the end this is a bigger story of how to manage the Depression we find ourselves in, no matter how the details are massaged for the purpose of a campaign. It’s a choice between austerity and forgiveness, the paths taken by Europe and the US respectively. For the campaign it’s a about a level of detail that takes far too much explanation.