Bloomberg News

Michigan Governor Snyder Predicts Romney Victory in State Race

February 24, 2012

(For more on the campaign, see {ELECT <GO>}.)

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Mitt Romney will likely emerge as the winner of Michigan’s Republican presidential primary next week, Governor Rick Snyder said.

Polls show a close race between Romney, who Snyder has endorsed, and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum in the Feb. 28 contest in Michigan, where the Republican candidates have criticized the federal rescue of carmakers during the credit- market crisis. Romney is the son of former Michigan Governor George Romney.

“It’s close,” Snyder, a Republican, said during an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “But he’s made a lot of progress off the last week or so, in terms of the polling. And importantly, he’s getting an opportunity now to get around Michigan and talk about what he’s achieved and where he wants to head, and that’s the important thing.”

President Barack Obama is the favored candidate in the November election in Michigan, a battleground in presidential races, Snyder said. The governor said the election will hinge on the performance of the economy as jobs remain the paramount concern among voters.

“He would be the favorite, according to all the polls,” Snyder said of Obama. “The two things that are on people’s minds are more and better jobs for the future and a brighter future for the kids. And I think Michigan’s a great microcosm of the country.”

Economy Recovering

Michigan’s economy is recovering, fueled in part by the revival of the state’s automakers. In the year ending in September, the state was the second-best performer in the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States Index, which tracks factors including employment and incomes to gauge how well a state is faring.

Its unemployment rate of 9.3 percent in December is down from as much as 14.1 percent in Aug. 2009.

Obama’s campaign has criticized Romney for his opposition to the federal bailout of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.

Snyder, a former chairman of computer maker Gateway Inc. who was elected in the 2010 elections that also put Republicans in charge of the U. S. House, declined to be drawn into the debate over the rescue, saying candidates should be focused on their current plans for the economy.

Focus on Unemployment

“I’m not going to armchair quarterback,” he said. “All the time that’s been spent on the auto bailout, people really aren’t discussing the relevant question. And the relevant question in my view is to ask these candidates, what are you going to do to drop the unemployment rate by 50 percent going forward?”

Snyder, 53, said the economic gains in his state have improved Michigan’s finances, leaving it with a budget surplus. While Detroit’s city government is struggling with budget shortfalls, Snyder said he’s hopeful that he will be able to reach an agreement with the cash-strapped municipality that will avert the need for him to appoint an emergency manager to take over.

“We’re making progress, working with the city, the mayor, the city council on a consent agreement, which is basically an agreement between the three parties to say, ‘Let’s work out way out of this in a more positive way,’” he said. “I don’t want to appoint an emergency manager.”

--With assistance from Chris Christoff in Lansing, Michigan. Editors: Robin Meszoly, Don Frederick

To contact the reporter on this story: William Selway in Washington at;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at

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