From this Thursday evening's Democratic National Convention, this is what you call a barn-burner folks. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm brought down the house with her passionate speech thanking President Obama for saving the auto industry when no one else was willing to come in and rescue them, including Bain Capital, and took it to Mitt Romney for famously saying to "let Detroit go bankrupt."
Good evening, I'm Jennifer Granholm, from the great state of Michigan, where the trees are just the right height! Let me tell you a story about the dark days in my home state. Towards the end of my time as governor, Ford closed one of its biggest factories, a factory in Wixom, Michigan. The Wixom plant had employed thousands of middle-class men and women in neighborhoods near—yet worlds away from—the place Mitt Romney was raised.
When Ford's decision hit, I went down to the local union hall. It was almost empty; a few workers milled about in shock and grief. I talked to a 45-year-old guy who told me, "This is the only place I've ever worked.
I've been loyal. I've done everything they've ever asked. And just like that, it's gone." He looked around the hall and said, "So, governor, is it over for us? Is the American auto industry dead?" Honestly, at that moment, I just didn't know. And that was just the beginning. When the financial crisis hit, things got a lot worse – and fast.
The entire auto industry, and the lives of over one million hard-working Americans, teetered on the edge of collapse; and with it, the whole manufacturing sector. We looked everywhere for help. Almost nobody had the guts to help us – not the banks, not the private investors and not Bain capital. Then, in 2009, the cavalry arrived: our new president, Barack Obama!
He organized a rescue, made the tough calls and saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saw the same crisis and you know what he said: "Let Detroit go bankrupt." Sure, Mitt Romney loves our lakes and trees.
He loves our cars so much, they have their own elevator. But the people who design, build, and sell those cars?
Well, in Romney's world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft. Mitt Romney says his business experience qualifies him to be president. Sure, he's made lots of money. Good for him. But how did he make that fortune, and at whose expense?
Too often, he made it at the expense of middle-class Americans. Year after year, it was profit before people. President Obama? With the auto rescue, he saved more than one million middle-class jobs all across America. In Colorado, the auto rescue saved more than 9,800 jobs! In Virginia, more than 19,000 jobs! In North Carolina, more than 25,000! Wisconsin: more than 28,000 jobs! Pennsylvania: more than 34,000! Florida: more than 35,000! Ohio: more than 150,000! And in the great state of Michigan? President Obama helped save 211,000 good American jobs. All across America, autos are back! Manufacturing is rebounding! Why? Because when Mitt Romney said "Let Detroit go bankrupt," who took the wheel? Barack Obama! When America was losing 750,000 jobs per month, who gave us a lift? Barack Obama! When American markets broke down, who jump-started the engine? Barack Obama! And when America needed it most, who got us rolling again on the road to recovery? Barack Obama!
America, let's rev our engines! In your car and on your ballot, the "D" is for drive forward, and the "R" is for reverse. And in this election, we're driving forward, not back. Let's re-elect our great president, Barack Obama!
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