Democrats seize on Romney Volt comment

Dec 23, 2011

Michigan native and GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is drawing fire from Michigan Democrats for remarks he made on a radio program this week.

At the very end of a radio interview Romney called the Chevy Volt “an idea whose time has not come.”

There was little context for the remark, but Democrats seized on it. They say it’s part of a pattern of Romney “rooting for the US auto industry to fail.”

Romney has been critical of how President Obama handled GM and Chrysler’s bankruptcies, and of loans the government made to some smaller electric vehicle makers.

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant, where GM builds Chevy Volts, is in Congressman Hansen Clarke’s district. Clarke calls Romney’s remarks “ridiculous.”

“We want to promote innovation like the Chevy Volt," Clarke says, nothing the U.S. government has a history of investing in new technology. "We don’t want to look at ways to criticize it and stifle it.”

Romney’s campaign says that’s not how the remark was intended, and there’s “no bigger champion for Detroit” than Romney.

In its first year on the market, the Volt has seen slow sales and been dogged by safety concerns.