Meeting with salaried Delphi retirees this afternoon, Congressman Mike Turner declared the “White House picked winners and losers” in the auto bailout, which he expected President Obama to tout during his visit to Dayton later in the day.
Turner, R-Centerville, spoke from a podium in the parking lot of a closed Delphi plant on Home Avenue. He appeared with seven retirees who had pensions cut following the bailout.
The retirees have fought to restore pensions after union workers received full pensions as part of the bailout agreement.
Turner said Obama “will not mention pensions that were lost” during rally today with Vice President Joe Biden. A mobile digital billboard stood behind Turner and the retirees that read, “We Can’t Afford Four More Years,” along with the website address for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign.
Following Turner’s appearance, a spokesman for Sharen Neuhardt, Turner’s opponent in the upcoming election for the new 10th congressional district, issued a statement.
“Once again, Mike Turner shows us that he is more interested in scoring political points than solving real problems,” the statement said. “While he has held numerous press conferences to voice his support for the Delphi salaried employees who lost their pensions, he refuses to actually support a solution to the issue. Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation to effectively restore the lost pensions, but Turner opposes it.”
Three Delphi retirees who spoke Tuesday said they have struggled for answers about their pensions.
“One year after I retired, Obama’s task force decided that my wife and I were unworthy of my earned pension,” said retiree Tom Rose, who noted his pension was reduced by 40 percent.
When asked if the retirees’ situation would be handled differently if Romney is elected, Turner said, “I think it would affect this differently. This was an injustice. This was improper. I believe the Delphi retirees have made the case that funds were there, that certainly they should be treated equally to everyone else.
“There was no reason why people should have been treated differently,” he said.