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Romney Rambler Crossing the eBay Auction Block

Ties to two presidential campaigns.

by on Feb.18, 2013

You can own a piece of history.

It may not have driven up to the White House, but a nearly 50-year-old AMC Rambler now going across the eBay auction block has historic ties to two presidential campaigns.

According to a listing on the popular site, potential bidders have less than four days left to snatch up the 1964 AMC Rambler Classic once owned by former Michigan Governor George Romney.  The one-time president and chief executive of American Motors had the white two-door when he made his run for the White House in 1968.  His son Mitt used the car to launch his own bid for president in 2007 during a campaign appearance in suburban Detroit.

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“What’s most amazing about this car is that it’s so well preserved and un-restored. The paint is all factory and in excellent shape for its age,” said the current owner, a Rancho Cucamonga, California resident who is selling it on eBay under the screenname “socalsoda.” He added that, “”What’s most amazing about this car is that it’s so well preserved and un-restored. To find a car this well preserved is rare, but to find a car this well preserved and with this documentation and ownership history is amazing. The paint is all factory and in excellent shape for its age.”


Auto Industry Helped Tilt Vote Towards Obama

Claims about Jeep and GM backfire for Romney.

by on Nov.07, 2012

Then-candidate Barack Obama looks under the hood of a Jeep in 2008. Obama's fortunes - and his re-election - have been tied to the auto industry.

Even as analysts pour over the data trying to get a clear understanding of what led President Barack Obama to victory on Tuesday, there’s a growing sense that the auto industry played a significant role, especially in the key battleground state of Ohio.

One of the most bitterly fought presidential campaigns in decades revealed significant strengths and weaknesses for both candidates. But as so often happens, external events – such as Superstorm Sandy – and campaign missteps including “inaccurate” last-minute claims about General Motors and Chrysler may have had as much of an impact on key voters as the debates, the endless political commercials and the long lists of endorsements claimed by either side.

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Perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than in Ohio, where voters’ decision in favor of the president was reported by the various TV networks as pushing Obama to re-election shortly after 11 PM EST.  CNN’s chief political analyst John King, who repeatedly parsed the results from swing states down to the county level, noted that while much of Ohio was “red,” the color assigned to Republicans, “the industrial north is solidly blue” in a corridor that took in automotive manufacturing centers such as Toledo and Cleveland and its suburbs.


Romney Accused of Personally Profiting as 1000s of Delphi Retirees Lost Pensions

GM, Chrysler tell GOP candidate he’s wrong about China jobs.

by on Oct.31, 2012

GOP candidate Romney is now taking fire back from Chrysler and General Motors.

This story has been updated to include a late response by a Romney campaign official.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing allegations he personally profited from the auto bailout he has repeatedly criticized while his hedge fund allies left thousands of Delphi retirees out in the cold, leaving the federal government to cover the cost of their retirement benefits.

The former Massachusetts governor has also championed the cause of Delphi salaried retirees whose pensions were terminated during its bankruptcy, insisting the deal that helped the giant automotive supplier emerge from Chapter 11 was rigged to favor union employees.

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But a new story by The Nation outlined Romney’s investment in the hedge fund, Elliott Management, which was heavily involved in restructuring Delphi Automotive, the bankrupt supplier critical to General Motors. A significant part of the Romney family fortune is managed by Elliott Management, which is operated by Paul Singer, a billionaire who is also one of the largest donors to Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.

Separately, both General Motors and Chrysler have fired back at the GOP candidate declaring he has been “inaccurate” in claims that the two makers – both rescued by 2009 government bailouts – have used public funds to transfer jobs from the U.S. to China. GM declared the latest Romney ads “politics at its cynical worst.”


GM Bans Candidates

“Government Motors” wants to sit out the election.

by on Aug.27, 2012

President Barak Obama during a visit to a GM plant - along with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak -- in October 2011.

As noisome as the presidential campaign has already become, you can expect to hear even more in the weeks before November’s election.  But don’t expect to see any General Motors plants serve as backdrop for campaign stump speeches.

The automaker, hoping to downplay its role in the high-stakes battle, has barred the two presidential candidates until after the election.

That move is probably no surprise.  President Barack Obama is taking credit for saving both GM and Chrysler with $85 billion in federal aid.  His challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, has long opposed the bailout – though he has also tried to take credit for the two makers’ turnaround.

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Critics of the costly rescue effort have, meanwhile, dubbed GM “Government Motors,” a derisive nickname that some industry analysts believe has cost the company significant sales.


Romney: I Saved Auto Industry by Opposing Bailout

GOP presidential candidate wants some credit for Detroit turnaround.

by on May.08, 2012

GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney has tried to benefit from opposition to the auto bailout - but now wants credit for its success.

Despite his strong opposition to the federally funded bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney insists he also deserves some of the credit for saving the domestic auto industry.

During a Rust Belt campaign swing, the Michigan native told interviewers he should get “a lot of credit” because he pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, the route the Obama Administration used to held shed the crushing debt that drove GM and Chrysler into seeking Chapter 11 protection.

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“I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and finally when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet,” Romney said in an interview with a Cleveland TV station during a visit to an auto parts manufacturer. “So, I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry has come back.”


Romney Blasts Bailouts During Michigan Debate

Candidate contends efforts “wasted billions of dollars.”

by on Nov.10, 2011

Candidate Romney during a 2008 campaign appearance - before the bailouts of GM and Chrysler.

He may have strong ties to Michigan – where his father once served as governor – but presidential contender Mitt Romney has little good to say about the government bailouts that saved two of that state’s “Big Three” automakers.

In fact, he leveled his latest criticism of the federal aid handed out by Presidents George W. Bush and Barrack Obama during an appearance in the shadow of Chrysler’s headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills.

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Contending “Michigan was the pride of the nation,” when his father George was governor, Romney asserted that the multi-billion-dollar rescues for Chrysler and General Motors “wasted billions of dollars initially,” and were “the wrong way to go.”


Stand on Auto Bailout Bites Romney in Home State

The answer, says former governor, was to follow “the process of law.”

by on Jun.09, 2011

Candidate Romney during a less controversial visit to Michigan - when he won the state's '08 GOP primary.

In 2008, presidential candidate Mitt Romney got a strong boost from his home state of Michigan, winning his only primary victory in a state once governed by his father, George Romney, who was also the one-time head of American Motors.

Things may be a little different this time as the younger Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, once again throws his hat in the ring.

Making a series of early campaign stops in the heartland of the domestic auto industry, the candidate is being dogged by protestors who recall that despite his expressed support for the slumping auto industry, in 2008, Romney went on to argue against a federal rescue of bankrupt General Motors and Chrysler, insisting he believed in “the process of law,” rather than bailouts.

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An op-ed he authored in the New York Times, prior to the election, was titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

More than 100 auto workers gathered outside a restaurant in the Motor City suburb of Livonia, on Thursday, some carrying signs with the name, “Mitt” circled, with a line through it.