TAMPA, Fla. – Michigan residents don’t buy President Barack Obama’s hype about the auto industry bailout and Mitt Romney can win the swing state in November, Rep. Bill Huizenga told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
The Great Lakes State went for Obama in 2008, and it has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988. But this year it has a native son running in Detroit-born Romney. The Republican nominee’s father, George W. Romney, was a Michigan governor. And the state is turning toward the GOP again, said Huizenga.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
“A Republican wave hit Michigan like it hasn’t seen in a very, very long time back in 2010,” said Huizenga, in Tampa for the Republican National Convention. “I think Gov. (Rick) Snyder has done a really good job at maintaining that. The legislature has done that as well. It feels very, very good on the ground for Mitt Romney right now.”
Obama has bragged about the success of his administration’s auto industry bailout, but Huizenga said Michigan’s residents don’t feel as enthusiastic about it.
“They certainly don’t have the warm fuzzy feeling that the Obama administration is trying to portray it as,” the freshman congressman, who represents Michigan’s west coast, told Newsmax.TV.
“People don’t really buy this whole [claim that] Michigan would have collapsed if it wasn’t for the Obama administration coming in and saving the autos,” he said.
Huizenga said his district includes many automotive equipment manufacturers and also businesses that supply those companies, and the bailout didn’t do much for them.
“A lot of them feel lie they like they got left holding the bag in this whole thing. Over the years the Detroit three [car manufacturers] have really forced down a lot of those savings into those suppliers. So, the suppliers are looking around saying, ‘Hey, wait a minute, we’ve had to really sharpen our pencil here over the last few years and they haven’t,’ ” he said.
Obama supporters have pointed to Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout as a sign he doesn’t care about the industry or its workers. In 2008, Romney wrote a New York Times op-ed headlined “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
But Huizenga told Newsmax.TV that Michigan residents don’t believe Romney wanted to see the industry or their state suffer.
“None of them believe in their heart that Mitt Romney would want to see these buildings taken down and not a single GM, Ford or Chrysler car driven on the roads again. It’s just absolutely ridiculous.
“You look at what happened with Chrysler, it went through that bankruptcy and it’s re-emerged in a much different fashion, privately held in some of those things, and it’s really putting out a great product,” he said.
Huizenga, 43, said he thinks the choice of 42-year-old Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential candidate shows the Grand Old Party is broadening its appeal to a younger generation.
“I’m just getting old enough where my friends’ kids and not quite my kids yet are getting in high school and getting out of high school and are starting to think about these things and what their future looks like and they’re frustrated,” he said. “They look around and they look at what their grandma and grandpa did or what their mom and dad did and they don’t have that same sense that I’m going to be able to do that same thing, be the captain of my own destiny. “
Huizenga also said he was looking forward to seeing Ryan go up against Vice President Joe Biden in a debate. “This is going to be a fun one. You never know what’s going to come out of Biden’s mouth.”
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