Published for The Washington Post, October 29, 2012

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio

In an interview with Rolling Stone, President Obama called Mitt Romney a “bull­s—-er.” But here in Ohio, it is Obama who is peddling the B.S. when it comes to Romney and automobile-company bankruptcy. The question is: Will Obama’s bankruptcy B.S. win him the Buckeye State — and with it a second term in the White House?\

The president clearly is betting on it. An Obama campaign ad running here declares that Romney wanted the auto industry to “fail,” and an auto worker says, “Mitt Romney would have just let us go under, just let them go bankrupt.”

Three years ago, Obama was singing a different tune when it came to bankruptcy. “I know that when people even hear the word ‘bankruptcy,’ it can be a bit unsettling, so let me explain what I mean,” Obama told worried auto workers in 2009, when he announced that hemight take GM and Chrysler bankrupt — as indeed happened weeks later. Bankruptcy, the president said, is simply a “tool that we can use” to “make it easier for General Motors and Chrysler to quickly clear away old debts that are weighing them down so they can get back on their feet and onto a path to success.” It is not, Obama insisted, “a process where a company is simply broken up, sold off, and no longer exists.”

Now Obama using the “B” word to suggest that is exactly what Romney wanted to do.

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