An endorsement that could give Mitt Romney a boost in the Rust Belt: Former Chrysler and Ford executive Lee Iacocca is backing the Republican nominee, the Detroit Free Press reports.

In his endorsement message, Iacocca complained that “America is in deep trouble,” facing high debts and still suffering “anemic” economic growth. He said “hope and speeches won’t get our people back to work.”

According to the Detroit News, Iacocca has no plans to appear publicly with Romney. Iacocca endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004; he has praised the auto bailout but takes issue with some of the particulars. 

In his 2007 book, "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?" Iacocca wrote, "Romney's biggest challenge is to have the courage of his convictions ... [H]is recent conversion to a right-wing social agenda doesn't play too well for anyone who has known him as a moderate throughout his career."