A bridge too far


Mitt Romney was scheduled to spend last night in Toledo, but not to make a campaign appearance here on his latest swing through Ohio. That’s too bad, because such an event would have given the Republican presidential nominee and Detroit native an ideal opportunity to address a critical issue to the economies of Ohio and Michigan: the need for a new bridge from Detroit to Canada.

Oh, wait. Mr. Romney still hasn’t taken a position on that issue.

The border crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, is the most important link between the United States and its largest trading partner, Canada. Corporate and government leaders in both nations, including President Obama, support a new bridge to compete with the obsolete, 83-year-old privately owned span that connects the two cities.

They note the new bridge would tie in nicely to Toledo’s logistics and transportation networks. The Detroit Three automakers and United Auto Workers agree the project would support and create a large number of jobs in this region.

But Mr. Romney offers the mealy-mouthed assertion that building the bridge is “up to the people of Michigan to decide.” Rather, it is a matter of national security, international trade, and economic growth and job creation throughout the Great Lakes region.

Voters in Ohio and Michigan will want to note this default of leadership by a would-be president. Or Mr. Romney could, finally, take a stand.