But top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom is also giving credit to his candidate for the auto industry’s success. At a Saturday forum hosted by the Washington Post, Fehrnstrom said that Obama’s auto industry rescue was successful because it was exactly what Romney himself proposed.
“[Romney’s] position on the bailout was exactly what President Obama followed,” Fehrnstrom said. “He said, ‘If you want to save the auto industry, just don’t write them a check. That will seal their doom. What they need to do is go through a managed bankruptcy process.’”
“Consider that the crown jewel,” Fehrnstrom said. “The only economic success that President Obama has had is because he followed Mitt Romney’s advice.”
Of course, that’s also a rather… peculiar tactic to take. Saying that the president (as in, your opponent) is doing what you also would have done raises the question of why we’d want to elect you instead. Makes Santorum’s observation all the more appropriate.
But the thing is, Romney was markedly quiet for most of the bailout season, piping up once or twice rather quietly after taking a moment to feel where the wind was blowing and making comments that would prevent him from alienating potential voters. Then, as the primaries heated up and he needed to court the Teabaggers, he hardened his stance and came down hard on the bailout (which, I might remind everyone, was not especially popular by the right, as evidenced by their constant attempts to erase the fact that Bush was down with it as well). Now he’s backtracking on his former backtracking.
Romney is going to have a helluva time juggling what he said in 2008 versus what he said in 2011 in terms of what he’s saying he’ll do in 2013.