In an interview with an Ohio television Monday, Romney said President Barack Obama ended up picking up the idea that the auto companies should be forced into bankruptcy, CNN Money reported Tuesday.
"I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back," Romney said. "My own view is that the auto companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help. And frankly, that's finally what the president did. He finally took them through bankruptcy."
Romney opposed government assistance that helped General Motors and Chrysler emerge from bankruptcy in two months, CNN said. Filing for bankruptcy allowed GM and Chrysler to unload plants and workers.
Van Conway of Conway McKenzie, a Detroit restructuring firm, said managed bankruptcy was "not an idea no one else had at the same time." He said without $81 billion from the government, the companies might have ended up in liquidation, not bankruptcy.
Bob Lutz, who was vice chairman of GM at the time of the crisis, has said the automakers tried, but were unable to arrange a managed bankruptcy with private lenders.
"[Romney] thinks we didn't try to borrow money from the banks," Lutz told the Detroit Free Press in February. "The banks were even more broke than we were."