bailout, Chrysler, GM, Michigan, Mitt Romney, right-to-work, unions
If Mitt Romney has any questions about why his hopes and dreams of winning the Republican nomination are circling the drain, he need look no further than the nearest mirror. Just the two latest examples; First, he brilliantly chose the week that GM announced record profits to re-iterate his opposition to President Obama’s rescue of GM and Chrysler. Two days ago he upped the ante with a little union bashing and support for making Michigan a right-to-work (for less) state:
“I’ve taken on union bosses before, and I’m happy to take them on again,” he told a crowd at an office furniture warehouse on Feb. 15 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I sure won’t give into the UAW. Romney also has been citing unions as a major reason for his opposition to the federal bailouts of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC — a position he spelled out in a widely publicized Feb. 14 column in the Detroit News.”
Somebody apparently forgot to pass along these two vital pieces of information to Mr. Romney regarding his home state:
“Union membership in the state is on the rise, bucking the national trend. Last year, 18.3 percent of the Michigan workforce was represented by a union, up from 17.3 percent in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics…More than a quarter of Michigan Republican primary participants in 2008 were from households that included a union member, exit polling showed.”
“In his current race, he stresses his support for right-to- work legislation that would bar agreements making union membership and payment of dues a job requirement. “We’re to make it a level playing field,” he told a roundtable discussion of self-described Tea Party activists in Monroe, Michigan, yesterday. “We’re going to have right to work” (for less).
Mitt can’t get his own supporters on board for that one:
“[E]ven Rick Snyder, the fiscally conservative Republican governor of Michigan who endorsed Romney yesterday, has made clear he won’t take up right-to-work legislation in the state anytime soon, saying he considers other issues more pressing. Other Romney backers similarly shy away from the issue. “I can’t go there,” said Jack Kirksey, mayor of Livonia, Michigan, when asked about right-to-work legislation.”
Rick Santorum won’t even go there:
“Santorum, whose wins in three states last week made him the main alternative to Romney in the nomination race, is taking a softer line on unions as he casts himself as the Republican candidate best able to appeal to blue-collar Rust Belt voters.
Speaking in Detroit yesterday, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania voiced his support for private-sector unions, citing a grandfather who was treasurer of his coal mining union.”
For reaction to Romney’s Michigan strategery, I turn to noted political analyst, Mr. B. Bunny: