United Auto Workers President Bob King is no fan of Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. In a conference call with former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and members of the Obama re-election campaign, King reportedly called Romney “out of touch” with the issues working people face.
Cavalier about plant closures
King and UAW faithful have criticized Romney for the way in which he referenced his father’s decision to shut down a large Detroit auto assembly plant during the 1950s. The decision to move production to Wisconsin resulted in 4,300 layoffs. Romney was too “cavalier” about the event, says King. Considering Mitt Romney’s great personal wealth, King has claimed that the GOP candidate is out of touch with the financial struggles of The 99 Percent, those who do not possess the capital of members of the United States’ upper class.
‘Suffering across America’
Automotive plant closures have hit the unionized working man hard in recent years, noted King. The near-collapse of the U.S. automotive industry in 2008 caused “tremendous suffering across America,” and only a politician sympathetic to the plight of workers who keep one of the country’s largest industries going is worthy of becoming the nation’s leader, King opined.
Romney criticizes UAW
On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney leveled harsh criticism of the United Auto Workers union. The former governor contended that UAW received “more than their fair share” when General Motors and Chrysler were reorganized following bankruptcy.
“What I object to is when a president exercises crony capitalism, which means when a president says by virtue of my power, I’m going to take care of my friends. There’s no question that support for his campaign came from organized labor, and so he took care of organized labor,” said Romney last month in Ohio.
Avoiding deep depression
King fired back that if “too big to fail” U.S. automakers had been allowed to go bankrupt as Romney has suggested, the results would have been catastrophic.
“No matter how much Mitt Romney tries to Etch-a-Sketch his way out of wanting the auto industry to go bankrupt, there was not a single financial institution willing to give them to loan they needed to restructure,” King said. “(GM and Chrysler bankruptcy) would have led to a deep depression.”