Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Democrats Hammer Mitt Romney for Quote He Never Said

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was among those who hammered Mitt Romney for words he didn't say or write. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — From dawn to dusk on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, Democratic leaders seemingly used Mitt Romney’s own words against him in front of delegations and national television audiences.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, echoing others, described Romney tonight in his speech as “a person who said in four words, ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt.'”

Except Romney never said or wrote it.

The source of the quote is a November 2009 op-ed Romney wrote in the New York Times. The editorial Romney wrote is not nearly as definitive as that headline, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”

It is not news that Romney never said those words. News organizations have repeatedly pointed out for months the context of the headline. As is common practice in the newspaper industry, editors at the New York Times wrote the headline, not Romney.

House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen (Md.) also pulled out the quote last night on MSNBC and again this morning when making the rounds at meetings today. Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz used the phrase as well on CNN.

In his address tonight on the opening evening of the convention, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was more careful in his wording, saying, “Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed entitled, ‘Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.'”

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...