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What If Mitt Romney Had Been President in 2009? What If Mitt Romney Had Been President in 2009?

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What If Mitt Romney Had Been President in 2009?

That's the question posed by the former Democratic governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, in a CNBC blog in the lead-up to tonight's Michigan-based debate between the Republican primary candidates. Granholm concludes that the auto industry would have gone belly up. "When the U.S. auto companies were on the brink of collapse, Michigan native Mitt Romney went so far as to write an appalling opinion piece in The New York Times titled 'Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.' ''

The Democratic party greeted Romney today with full-page ads in local newspapers reminding voters of his opposition to the auto bailout. Romney, for his part, insisted  "there will be no one on that stage this week more pained by Michigan's struggles than I am.''

While it can be valuable for the nationally televised debates to draw attention to the most pressing issues in their host state, the auto bailout is unlikely to generate much discussion tonight since -- like many issues -- there's no daylight between the GOP candidates.

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