Mitt Romney visits Euclid, says manufacturing can come back to Ohio and explains how

Comments made in one-on-one interview

EUCLID, Ohio - Mitt Romney was in Euclid Monday at a small business for a town hall style event with standing room only. It is his third trip to Ohio in three weeks.

NewsChannel5's Chris Flanagan talked one-on-one with the presumptive GOP nominee before the event about his campaign, now that there are less than six months to the presidential election in November.

Romney said he chose Stamco Industries because he thought it was a model small business, and he believes manufacturing is not dead in Ohio.

"Manufacturing is big part of Ohio, and of course, its history," Romney said. "I happen to believe that going forward over the coming decade, you're going to see a lot of manufacturing come back to America.

"If we finally crack down on China for cheating, if we also take advantage of the extraordinary energy resources we have here, and therefore low-cost energy, we'll be able to compete with people around the world," Romney said. "I think you're going to find Ohio, and particularly states that are right to work states, bringing a lot of manufacturing jobs back."

Flanagan asked Romney that couldn't some people argue that Stamco survived because of the auto bailout - something Romney was against in an opinion piece published by the New York Times in 2008.

"My own view by the way was that companies needed to go through bankruptcy before government help," Romney replied. "And frankly, finally, that's what the president did. He finally took them through bankruptcy - that was the right course. I argued for it from the very beginning.

"It was the UAW and the president that delayed the idea of bankruptcy. I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy, and finally when that was done and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. So I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back," Romney said.

Romney opened the New York Times opinion piece in November 2008 like this: "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye."

Romney also wrote he saw a managed bankruptcy as being the only solution he saw to save the industry.

"A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk," Romney wrote.

On Monday, Flanagan also asked Romney how often he talks with Senator Rob Portman. Romney replied he talks with Ohio's Republican senator "from time to time" and they chat about "policy and politics."

[ WEB EXTRA: Click on the video player above to watch Chris Flanagan's entire interview with Romney ]

Several reports in recent weeks have named Portman as a GOP favorite as a vice-presidential running mate for Romney.

Ohio is a crucial swing state.

The latest Quinnipiac University poll has Romney and Obama in a virtual tie, the Republican challenger slightly trailing the president in all Ohio voters, 42 percent to 44 percent. But the poll's margin of error is 2.9 percent.

President Obama still leads in women and minority voters by a wide margin in Ohio and across the country.

The president kicked off his re-election campaign in Columbus on Saturday.

Romney said he is not taking anything for granted and plans to work hard over the next six months, because he still is behind the president in the latest polls.

"Six months in the world of politics is a lifetime," Romney said. "I will get this country working again with good jobs."

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