By Ken Thomas
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama hailed the rebound of the U.S. auto industry on Tuesday, trumpeting an economic story he hopes to use to his political advantage in key Rust Belt states such as Michigan and Ohio. In a not-so-veiled shot at Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, Obama said it was worth remembering that there were some leaders "willing to let this industry die."
Obama sat inside shiny new plug-in electric hybrids and burly trucks during a quick tour of the Washington Auto Show, declaring, "The U.S. auto industry is back." Obama emphasized his administration's rescue of General Motors and Chrysler from the brink of collapse as Romney was surging in Florida's GOP primary, a contest that could bring him a step closer to winning the Republican nomination.