With More Layoffs In Michigan, Governor Romney Asks "Where's Washington?"
Today, outside the General Motors Willow Run plant, Governor Romney held a media availability to address the indefinite lay-off of 200 GM workers that was just announced yesterday. Tragically, announcements like this have become all too typical in Michigan today. Below are excerpts of Governor Romney's remarks:
"The reason that I came here today is because General Motors announced today that they are laying-off another 200 people from this facility."
"This is not something which is designed just to get things back on track as part of a strategy to re-build and grow. This is instead an indication of a long-term slide in the automotive industry, the domestic automotive industry. America is not buying fewer cars. Instead, we're seeing the domestic automobile industry continue to slide.
"And as year after year goes by, more and more layoffs occur and more plants are closed, the question is, 'Where's Washington?' You hear some say that these are jobs that are just going away and we better get used to it. But where does it stop? Is there a point at which someone says, 'You know, that's enough'? Or are we going to let the entire automobile industry, domestic manufactured automotive industry, disappear and just say, 'Well, that was tough, that's just the way it is'?
"That's not what I believe. I believe it's important to preserve manufacturing in this country and to preserve the automobile industry, including the domestic automobile industry. I will work together with labor, with management, with the leaders of the political structure here in Michigan and in Washington to strengthen the automotive sector, the domestic automotive sector and the state of Michigan. It is inexcusable to me to see these jobs going away again and again and again.
"I do believe that policies to invest in research and technology, basic science and research to develop the products of the future can help stimulate and re-build this industry. I believe also in a savings plan to reduce the burden on the American people so that we can afford products of the future...
"And I also believe that Washington is doing too much anvil throwing. The first CAFE program was a huge burden on the domestic manufacturing of automobiles. The next CAFE program promises to do the same thing, and what help has been associated with it? It's almost like an unfunded mandate - a major change, a major burden on the automotive industry and then Washington saying, 'Good luck Detroit, try to keep up.'
"Likewise, Senator Lieberman, Senator McCain proposed a unilateral cap and trade program on carbon emissions. Look, we all agree that there should be a global effort to reduce carbon emissions. But if you place that burden just on the U.S., you make the U.S. less competitive. You make it more expensive to manufacture here, not only automobiles, but everything that we manufacture. And so we need to have policies that are designed to strengthen our economy, strengthen our competitiveness, make sure that America can compete in the automotive industry and in others. And as President, if I'm fortunate enough to have that job, I will not rest while Detroit continues to see layoff after layoff after layoff. My heart goes out to the 200 people who are laid off from this facility or were announced to be laid off from this facility. And I want to make sure that this doesn't just keep on happening year after year and year with Washington saying, 'So what?'"