“They Were Suspending My Credit Line”


So Mitt is still trying to dig himself out of the hole he created when he declared, “Let Detroit go bankrupt”?

I suspect most of the commentary on this ad will focus on the irony that, had Mitt had his way, all of GM’s dealers would have gone under, and without the buyout deals they ultimately got.

Me, I’m a bit surprised that Mitt didn’t choose an IN Chrysler dealer. Not only did Chrysler offer its dealers a much stingier package, but some dealers from IN fought losing their franchises all the way to SCOTUS, and some are still suing over “takings.”

But I’m most surprised by the sparse language used here to portray a dealer closure: “I received a letter from General Motors: they were suspending my credit line.”

Credit lines?!?!? Mitt wants to tug at heart strings and hit Obama with an attack akin to the Bain attacks that are working so well in swing states by invoking credit lines?!?!? Really?

Yes, it is true that at the heart of any car dealer is a credit line. But by including that in this ad, it seems to me, Mitt does several things. It reminds everyone who knows what role a credit line plays in a car dealer that the precipitating cause of the auto crash was the credit crash. It reminds viewers that the banksters, in killing their own industry, also killed the car industry. And not just any banksters, either. In GM’s case, the bankster in question was 51% owned by Cerberus Capital, a bunch of high profile Republicans (Dan Quayle and John Snow, among others) who were trying to do what Mitt got rich off: looting companies (in Cerberus’ case, including Chrysler) while profiting from the financialization that such looting offered. Only they were so bad at it, they effectively had to be bailed out by the taxpayers along with GM and Chrysler.

Thus, the villain in this ad–at least as described by the dealer–is someone just like Mitt, only stupider. The villain in the ad is not Obama–not to people who know how the auto industry works. It’s Mitt’s stupid Republican friends.

13 replies
  1. BSbafflesbrains says:

    In Mitt’s world the size of your credit line is more important than the size of your manhood. I’m sure all his entourage were getting chills as they previewed this horrific incident. Oh the humanity; my credit limit is being lowered. Thank God I paid cash for my Gulfstream 4.

  2. prostratedragon says:

    It reminds everyone who knows what role a credit line plays in a car dealer that the precipitating cause of the auto crash was the credit crash.

    I do recall that it was possible to have some dark thoughts back then, watching beasts with names like “Cerberus” circling credit-reliant industries with both large unionized worker and customer bases while Paulson and his ilk in D.C. and NYC tripped over their cuffs.

    Though it would not surprise me at all to learn that the crew on this ad hadn’t really thought of this (salient) angle, I’d bet that their more general play, that the audience they want to reach in fact does not know how anything works, is in the money. On this point only, though; they’ve already proven themselves a cornucopia of small glories more generally, and are likely to more than make up for guessing this one right somewhere.

  3. marksb says:

    That’s one of the worst political ads of the season.
    I learned in marketing to make your key message clear and simple.
    This message is confused.

    Plus, most people don’t see car dealers as people to feel sorry about. Most people hate going to the dealer for buying or service. Also most people have no idea that a good credit line is the key factor to having a successful dealership.


  4. BSbafflesbrains says:

    @marksb: Agree Mitt has had many fails and so have the people around him; makes me wonder if maybe Bain wasn’t purposely bankrupting companies and raiding their assets, maybe he is just the worst business person to come down the pike. (Bush was the stupidest but he wasn’t running the show like Mittens)

  5. emptywheel says:

    @marksb: Right. Part of the problem with this attempted attack is that Mitt doesn’t empathize with any of the people you SHOULD empathize with.

  6. FFein says:

    I keep thinking that the Republicans have a stealth candidate that they’re going to spring on us — perhaps at the convention — like they did Sarah Palin. Mitt just seems beyond terrible and I can’t believe that even the Republicans could support him.

  7. PSzymeczek says:

    And a lot of people hwve watched “Fargo” and what William H. Macy’s character did with his credit line.

  8. marksb says:

    @FFein: I keep wondering if there’s going to be a fight at the convention, and if the GOP leadership is going to prevent it or encourage it.

    BUT even if there was a revolt and a new candidate, who?

    Who is so desirable and has such a name-recognition that they can overcome the late-August start to a campaign?

    And how do you raise the money in such a short time?

    Plus you completely split the party and lots of your base are gonna’ throw their hands in the air and stay home.

    Romney is nearly a guaranteed fail, alt.candidate is fail taken to a quantum level.

  9. tjallen says:

    Maybe the purpose of this ad is not to get people to vote for him, but to encourage the financially savvy types to continue to donate money to his campaign; as though by some metaphysical process, all that money will magically be converted to votes in November.

  10. Bob Schacht says:

    @marksb: I think that the Republican Convention will be quite newsworthy. It may really be an open convention because by then the suckitude of Romney and his campaign will become intolerably evident. Maybe even something more serious, like evidence of fraud with his taxes, or even 10 years of paying no taxes legally.

    I think the power players went along with Romney because they figured that as president, he’d just do what he usually does, consulting with the Good Old Boys, who will tell him what to do, and he’ll do it, because it is so easy to persuade him that the Good Old Boys know best. It is part of their culture, y’know. The 1% culture. Well, actually, the .01% culture. But the more they look and see that Romney, like Humpty Dumpty will crack like an egg before the elections and have a great fall, but all the 1%’s horses and all their men won’t be able to put him together again for the November election.

    I think the Convention will be like a giant poker game, played by billionaires. Of course, some people, like Christy, have seen this train wreck coming, and are sitting this one out, waiting for 2016. But this will be a brokered Convention.

    Of course, the Billionaire’s poker club may have things all sorted out *before* the convention, so that the Convention will merely certify what the .01%ers have already decided. But I doubt that Romney will emerge as the Republican nominee.

    Bob in AZ

  11. MacCruiskeen says:


    Yeah, now there’s the Romney ad we want to see: dealer submitting fraudulent loan forms and then arranging shady criminal deals to cover up. A lesson in “leveraging”.

  12. thatvisionthing says:

    @emptywheel: “Down that road there’s bad things…” …yes? I’m so disgusted with the lot of them that I find myself hoping for a Mitt presidency. Let’s go! Fast! He’ll crash things sooner than Obama, and totally, where there’s no one left to bail him and his den out, and no one likes him anyway. He’s the weasel you’ll turn on. Then maybe we can start fixing things. Or at least get real. “Why look… gravity!”

  13. Procopius says:

    @FFein: Yes, Willard is beyond terrible. That’s why I’m so baffled that Obama is only a hair ahead of him. Yes, the economy is awful, and Obama is blameworthy because of his disastrous pivot to the deficit in 2010, but most Americans do know that the Republicans are largely to bleme for the dysfunction in Congress. It’s appalling to hear that members of focus groups who are told what Willard plans to do just don’t believe it. I know the guy lies more than any candidate in history, but you’ve got to take his word on some things, and his love for the Ryan budget just makes a crazy kind of sense. What is wrong? Why are so many Americans so crazy?

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