Obama spoke about what he claimed were Republican attempts to rewrite the history surrounding the American government’s stimulus package for the Detroit automotive industry.

“The same folks who said, if we went forward with our plan to save Detroit, you can kiss the American automotive industry winner goodbye,’ said Obama, explicitly referring to an article written by Mitt Romney in 2008, called: “Let Detroit Go Bust”.

“Now they’re saying, ‘we were right all along’,” continued Obama.

“Or you’ve got people saying, ‘What we really disagreed with was the workers, they all made it out like bandits,’ that saving the auto-industry was just about paying back the unions.

“Really? Even by the standards of this town that’s a pile of you know what,” he said.

The speech, made at the United Auto Workers conference in Washington, came on the same day Michigan and Arizona went to the polls in the Republican primaries.

Mitt Romney, who won in both Michigan and Arizona, had called for car companies to seek bankruptcy in 2008.

“About 700,000 retirees had to make sacrifices on their healthcare benefits, lots of your saw hours scaled back, or pay, you gave up some of your rights as workers,” said Obama to cheers from the crowd.

“Promises that were made to you over the years, you gave up for the sake and survival of this industry.

“It’s workers, their families, you want to talk about sacrifices?

“You made sacrifices,” he said.

Obama’s 2008 automotive industry bailout cost the American taxpayer £50 billion and was fiercely derided by Republicans at the time, but has widely been seen as a success, with GM posting record profits for 2011.