Mitt Romney: U.S. should shed its stake in GM image

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, accused President Obama of sitting on the government’s 26 percent stake in General Motors in order to avoid an embarrassing financial loss before Election Day.

In addition, Romney said the government should shed its stake in General Motors as soon as possible.
“There is no reason for the government to continue to hold” its GM stake, Romney said in an interview with the Detroit News that was published Tuesday morning.

“I would get the company independent from government and run for the interests of the consumer and the enterprise and its workers – not for the political considerations of government officials,” Romney told the Detroit News.

Mr. Romney has faced heavy criticism for his opposition to the auto bailouts, particularly after penning an editorial titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” (Mr. Romney did not write the headline.) The Republican advocated for letting the auto companies go bankrupt but providing some government support at the tail end of the bankruptcy process.

The government has owned 26% of GM stake (500 million shares) since it bailed out the company with nearly $50 billion in 2009. At just over $21 per share price on Tuesday, the amount falls well below the $51 per share price necessary for taxpayers to break even on the investment.

President Barack Obama has defended the $80 billion bailout of the auto industry, saying it has paid off because Detroit has bounced back.