Two new ads released for broadcast in Michigan Wednesday are hitting Mitt Romney for his opposition to auto-industry bailouts as well as his record on spending.
A sound bite of Romney stating, "Let Detroit go bankrupt," opens the latest ad from Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting President Obama. The ad cites Romney’s record while he was in the private sector of profiting off investments in businesses which later failed.
Romney’s use of the phrase "bankrupt" echoes throughout the ad, as the super PAC hopes it will echo in the minds of voters come Election Day. A Quinnipiac poll, released Wednesday has the Republican presidential primary candidate trailing Obama by 2 points in a head-to-head matchup nationwide.
Michigan is where Romney grew up and the auto bailout affects thousands of people there. A NBC News/Marist poll out on Wednesday shows 63 percent of registered voters in the Great Lakes State back the government's decision to assist General Motors and Chrysler in the fall of 2008, when President George W. Bush was still in office. Forty-two percent of likely voters -- those who would vote in the GOP primary -- back the decision.
The NBC News/Marist poll also shows Obama getting much of the credit for the bailout from registered voters, 58 percent of whom say he gets a great deal or good amount of the props. Among likely voters, only 27 percent give him a great deal or good amount of the credit for the bailout.
The Obama campaign and its surrogates have been hounding Romney on the 2008 statement for weeks, particularly after an op-ed by Romney in the Detroit News in which he wrote that he would have never have let the Big 3 automakers fail but supported a "managed bankruptcy" in which companies go in and out of the courts in a rapid restructuring.
Romney also called the Spring 2009 delivery of federal funding "crony capitalism on a grand scale."
"Before the companies were allowed to enter and exit bankruptcy, the U.S. government swept in with an $85 billion sweetheart deal disguised as a rescue plan.
The Red, White, and Blue Fund, a super Pac supporting Rick Santorum, also released an ad Wednesday attacking Romney. The new ad, titled “Vital Decisions,” targets Romney's policies while governor of Massachusetts.
"Like Obama, Romney drastically increased spending, increased taxes and fees. Even worse, Romneycare is the blueprint for Obamacare," proclaims the ad’s announcer.
The ad goes on to say to ask, "Who can win?" As a contrast to Romney’s record, the ad answers: “Rick Santorum – the principled leader who’s fought against big government – with a bold plan to create jobs and cut wasteful spending.”
As reported by FoX News on Tuesday, The Red, White, and Blue Fund plans to spend $600,000 on television ads in the week leading up to the Michigan primary.
NBC News/Marist poll has Romney leading Santorum by 2 percentage points in Michigan.