According to an article in today’s New York Times, Bain Capital was asked to do so, but declined. Well, actually it was asked to help GM out, and declined.
The article recounts much of the controversy concerning Romney’s actual position on a government bailout for the companies back in 2008-09 and his current statements about it, and how these are playing out now politically here in Michigan and possibly in other states in which there is a heavy auto-industry presence. About two-thirds down, the article says:
To go through the bankruptcy process, both companies needed billions of dollars in financing, money that auto executives and government officials who were involved with Mr. Obama’s auto task force say was not available at a time when the credit markets had dried up. The only entity that could provide the $80 billion needed, they say, was the federal government. No private companies would come to the industry’s aid, and the only path through bankruptcy would have been Chapter 7 liquidation, not the more orderly Chapter 11 reorganization, these people said.
In fact, the task force asked Bain Capital, the private equity company that Mr. Romney helped found, if it was interested in investing in General Motors’ European operations, according to one person with direct knowledge of the discussions.
Bain declined, this person said, speaking anonymously to discuss private negotiations.
This is an especially serious matter because the very foundation of Romney’s candidacy is his vaunted business acumen. If he really believed that private funding existed for managed bankruptcies of these two companies, then he based that belief on something other than fact, something other than evidence. And if, as is likely, he well knew that no private funding would be available, and that without government funding these companies’ bankruptcies would be liquidations, then why was he claiming otherwise?