WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says Mitt Romney is having an "Etch A Sketch moment" when he claims credit for the U.S. auto industry's revival.
Obama says people remember that Romney's stance was that Detroit should have been allowed to go through bankruptcy without taxpayer help. Of Romney's insistence this week that he deserves credit for the auto industry's success, Obama said: "I don't think anybody takes that seriously."
In an interview with ABC News, Obama says Romney's plan for denying the automakers a federal bailout would have cost the economy about 1 million jobs in the Midwest. GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy on the strength of a costly bailout set up by the Obama administration.
Romney wrote in a 2008 editorial that if the bailout were enacted, "you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye."
Obama's re-election campaign, meanwhile, called attention Thursday to the auto bailout and job growth during his administration in three new TV ads.
One ad, titled "Success," shows Obama talking about his decision to extend federal help to the auto makers. Another ad, titled "Brian from Ohio," features an auto worker who was laid off, then rehired after the bailout. A third ad, "Reverse," charts job losses in the months before Obama took office in January 2009 and the modest job growth that has taken place since then.
The commercials are part of a $25 million ad buy in nine battleground states. None of the ads mention Romney.