NEW YORK -- Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm upped the rhetorical ante against Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney in response to an economic speech he made in Iowa on Friday, claiming the former Massachusetts governor "decided that he would stick a knife in [Michigan's] back when we were on our knees" with his stance on the auto bailout in 2008.
In the Iowa speech, Romney promises to revive hiring. "Instead of more spending, more borrowing from China and higher taxes from Washington, we'll renew our faith in the power of free people pursuing their dreams," he said, according to prepared remarks.
But Granholm said during a conference call organized by the Center for American Progress Action Fund that she believes those promises -- and especially Romney's pledge to create 12 million new jobs in his first term -- ring hollow. Granholm, pointing to an issue brief released by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, argued that Romney's economic plan would actually destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Romney's plan is a "craven" and dishonest attempt to mislead voters by making unrealistic promises, Granholm said during the call. The policies are "being written by the same people" who ushered in policies that led to the economic downturn, she claimed.
Look no further than the bailout, Granholm argued, to see whether Romney's words on economic issues are trustworthy.
"When Michigan was on our knees in our darkest hour in December 2008 ... Mitt Romney took the political assessment of how the public felt about [the] bailout," Granholm said. "And decided that the state that he grew up in ... was not important enough for him to be able to stand with this industry, to stand with the people who are employed there, and so he decided that he would stick a knife in our back when we were on our knees."
"That example of his cravenness should be and is," she said on the call, "why the president is winning in Ohio."
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.