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The Headline That Haunts Romney The Headline That Haunts Romney

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The Headline That Haunts Romney

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney surrounded by his family points towards supporters at the Romney for President New Hampshire primary night victory party at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

February 17, 2012

Mitt Romney has finally acknowledged what seemed painfully obvious to so many three years ago: The most politically perilous aspect of his 2008 op-ed piece in the New York Times wasn't its content, but it's headline, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Romney has suffered widespread Democratic derision for his well-known opposition to the bailout of Chrysler and General Motors, a position shared by many fellow conservatives. And while the crux of his argument -- that the automakers could have obtained private financing for a managed bankruptcy -- has been dismissed as everything from dishonest to fantastical, the brunt of the backlash against Romney centers around his seemingly callous dismissal of the city where he was born.

After three-plus years of reflection -- interrupted by constant criticism from his political opponents -- Romney now recognizes the headline is hurting his campaign. The Republican presidential hopeful told the Detroit Free Press editorial board on Thursday that, if given the chance to go back to December 2008 and re-title his opinion piece, he would change the headline to "How to Save Detroit."

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