Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm tells the Democratic National Convention how President Barack Obama helped save the auto industry. (Stan Honda/Getty Images)
Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm speaks to delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., today. Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Detroit Free Press) - Lots of people talked about the federal bailout and revival of the domestic auto industry at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week.
But for former Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who led Michigan during the worst of the crisis in the auto industry, the story was more personal.
"We looked everywhere for help," she told Democrats in a short speech attending the convention and a national audience. "Almost nobody had the guts to help us, not the banks, not the private investors and not Bain Capitol."
• Transcript: Read the full text of Jennifer Granholm's speech
But the cavalry arrived in 2009, she said, led by President Barack Obama, who "made the tough calls and saved the American auto industry."
She saved some particular ire for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who disagreed with the federal bailout and wrote an opinion piece with the now infamous headline "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
"Sure, Mitt Romney loves our lakes and trees. He loves our cars so much, they have their own elevator," she said. "But the people who design, build, and sell those cars? Well, in Romney's world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft."
She ticked off the number of jobs saved as a result of the auto industry, especially in the all important swing states this election season: 150,000 in Ohio, 34,000 in Pennsylvania, 35,000 in Florida and 211,000 in Michigan.
"America, let's rev our engines! In your car and on your ballot, the D is for drive forward, and the R is for reverse," Granholm said. "And in this election, we're driving forward, not back."
Her Thursday night speech wasn't her first convention appearance. As the state's Attorney General, Granholm spoke at the 2000 Democratic convention in Los Angeles, where she was viewed as a rising star in the party. She followed it up with a prime-time speaking slot in the 2004 national convention in Boston, where her message could have just as well been delivered this year.
"What's true for Michigan is true across America. Good jobs give dignity to our people and strength to our nation," she said during her prime-time speaking slot in 2000. "John Kerry sees that."
And she led a town hall meeting on alternative energy at the 2008 convention in Denver. She was a contender for several cabinet positions under Obama and was vetted as a possible Supreme Court Justice - a job that went to Sonia Sotomayor.
Since serving two terms as governor, Granholm lives in California and has pursued non-profit and television work as a host on Al Gore's network "Current TV," where she hosts the "War Room."
Watch Granholm's complete DNC speech below: