A123 Bankruptcy Sparkles New Political Debate image

As expected A123’s bankruptcy filling yesterday gave Republican Mitt Romney a new opportunity to criticize President Barack Obama’s decision on the US economy.

“A123’s bankruptcy is yet another failure for the president’s disastrous strategy of gambling away billions of taxpayer dollars on a strategy of government-led growth that simply does not work, ” Andrea Saul, a Romney campaign spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

On October 3rd, during his first presidential debate, Romney draw attention on the companies President Obama helped, including electric automakers Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors, and solar-panel maker Solyndra LLC and Ener1, calling them ‘losers’ among recipients of green-energy helped by the administration.

In 2009 A123 was offered a $249.1 million grant through Obama’s economic stimulus to build a plant in Michigan. According to the Energy Department, the company has only used $132 million of that amount. The company was financially affected after Fisker’s Karma, which functions with A123 lithium ion batteries, stopped running during a test drive. This led to a recall by Fisker, which costs A123 $55 million.

“President Obama has been very strategic and aggressive in pointing to the auto bailout as an example of what the government did right,” Julian Zelizer, a history and political affairs professor at Princeton University, said in an interview.