Dear Mitt Romney:
There are politics, there are lies, and then there's you. You take it to a whole 'nother level.
OK, I admit that I have a particular animus toward you, as a guy that knifed us in the back when Michigan was on its knees, but you simply cannot be our president. It cannot happen.
As you know, Mitt, I was governor of Michigan during that horrible time, when the financial industry was melting down and the auto industry was in free fall. And you were running for president. You saw the polls about the unpopularity of bailouts and you lumped the auto industry in with the bank industry -- the auto industry, where your father and so many of your family members had worked.
You raised your finger into the air, saw which way the wind was blowing, and followed it. Way to lead, Mitt.
You weren't looking into the eyes of autoworkers getting laid off as factory after factory closed.
In the six month period surrounding the president's inauguration, more than 1,018 Michigan companies had announced mass layoffs in response to the crash.
Our unemployment office was receiving more than 800,000 calls per day from people desperate for help. The auto industry was heading over the cliff, we were begging for help, and you were coolly standing behind us giving your home state a shove over the ledge. And now you have the nerve to claim credit for the auto industry's rebound? It's a joke, right?
Steve Rattner, who headed the president's auto task force said it succinctly today when he said, "Mitt Romney is nuts." If only that's all it was.
So Mitt, here's my request: Just stop it. Stop denying that you were pandering to a national audience when you wrote that Detroit should "go bankrupt" and then stop taking credit for the success of the Obama administration's intervention to save the auto industry and more than a million jobs that went with it.
The Obama team wasn't taking advice from you. So just. Stop. Talking. Just stop.
And to you, reading this in The Huffington Post -- let's be honest, most Democrats aren't going to vote for Mitt Romney anyway. This latest example of his deception and distortion is just that, the latest example.
But to the Republicans and Independents who are reading this: Could you honestly see George H.W. Bush, or John McCain or Bob Dole, or even George W. Bush, demeaning the intelligence of the American people like this? Acting in a way so devoid of integrity?
It's ironic that on a day in which we focus on the auto industry, we're debating the merits of a guy who exhibits all the clichés we unfairly assign to used car salesmen.
America is not a business. It's not about ROI. It's not a trophy to mount on your wall.
America is an idea. And it's the solemn responsibility of each "temporary" president to protect and nurture that noblest of all ideas -- with integrity.
This man, Mitt Romney, has shown -- not through his experience, but through his actions and words -- that he is unqualified to carry out that responsibility.
Follow Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JenGranholm