The Associated Press reported on Monday that Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), who is running for the US Senate, will start hitting his opponent, Republican Terri Lynn Land, on comments she made criticizing the 2008-09 bailout of the auto industry. Peters, who is looking to replace longtime Democratic Senator Carl Levin this November, has been relentlessly attacked in ads since announcing his candidacy. Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-funded SuperPAC, has spent $1.7 million on ads against Peters so far, with millions more to come.
With this race super-close, and sure to come down to the wire in November, it is imperative that Peters start fighting back against the billionaire-backed Land. The fact that Land came out, in Michigan of all places, and supported Mitt Romney’s position that GM and Chrysler should have been allowed to go bankrupt needs to be endlessly repeated until Election Day.
While campaigning for Romney in 2012, Land commented that she was with Romney’s plan to let Detroit go bankrupt. She also stated that Ford was able to get a loan and avoid a bailout, so this proved that GM and Chrysler would have been able to do the same thing. Basically, she fully agreed with Romney’s fabrication that there would be private capital available to rescue both auto companies in the midst of a devastating financial crisis that cost the economy trillions of dollars.
The fact is, Ford was able to get a loan to help out its struggling company BEFORE the bubble burst in the financial sector. This was pointed out by Sen. Levin’s brother, Rep. Sany Levin (D-MI), in comments made to the AP.
“This was a matter, a moment, of supreme importance for this state,” he said. “She said this a few years after the survival of the state in terms of its economy.”
It should also be pointed out that Ford was able to raise more cash just before the crash by selling of the brands Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.3 billion. Therefore, they had enough liquidity in the company while the crash was occurring, but they were also well aware that the collapse of either GM or Chrysler would seriously impair their own operations. That is why Ford went to bat for both companies and asked that the government lend to them in order to keep them afloat and get them back on their feet.
The auto bailout rescued over a million jobs. If GM and Chrysler were left to fail, the entire state of Michigan would have suffered. Heck, the entire nation would have. Unemployment would be higher than it is today. Ford might have also gone under. The median income of the middle class would have been adversely affected, particularly in the Upper Midwest. At this point, it is silly to have an opinion that the federal government rescuing the American auto industry was a bad thing.
By hitting Land on her comments, Peters is also shifting the focus away from Obamacare and taking command of this race. Instead of playing defense and having to spend all of his time defending the Affordable Care Act, Peters can go on offense and make Land defend her own record. Make her defend her own statements.
The fact is, the GOP doesn’t have any other game plan. The Republicans are just going with the same thing that lost them seats in the House, Senate and didn’t win them the White House in 2012. Complain, lie and shout about Obamacare. Eventually, you’d think that the electorate would see that there’s nothing else behind the curtain.