Four words may determine the presidential election
The Kansas City Star
Four words may determine the outcome of the presidential election. Which four words remains to be seen.
Will it be ‘You didn’t build that.’
Or will it be ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.’
Democrats believe that the Romney campaign was dishonest in characterizing the president as giving government the credit for the success of businesses. They argue that when the president said ‘You didn’t build that’ he was pointing to the value of government-built infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, as essential to the success of the nation.
Republicans say that Mr. Romney wanted Detroit to go through a structured bankruptcy with private equity firms buying the assets rather than government picking the winners and losers. So in saying ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt’ they believe he was promoting true capitalism over government intervention, and Mr. Romney maintains this would have worked.
It’s clear that the auto worker unions in Ohio don’t believe Mr. Romney’s plan was in their interest, and they’re out to support the president in the election.
It also seems clear that Mr. Romney wants to dispute the success of the president’s bet on the American car industry. For example, his campaign this week produced radio and TV ads claiming that Jeep production is moving to China. He says he’ll stop this outsourcing.
Both General Motors and Chrysler have flatly disputed the recent Romney campaign ads. Vice-President Biden today called them lies.
The people of Ohio get to decide who’s lying. But it’s hard to see how the Romney ads will do anything but alienate people who depend on the car business and have seen real progress in the industry’s revival in their state.
Maybe Romney’s plan would have worked. But it appears from polls that the people in Ohio believe Obama’s plan already did work.
Will the voters decide that government intervention in a crisis is sometimes necessary? Will they conclude that by building infrastructure government creates opportunities for businesses to thrive and that this is what the president meant?
We’ll know next week.