U.S. Republicans still believe auto bailout was a bad idea

Mitt Romney - leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president
Mitt Romney - leading candidate for the GOP nomination for president

Leading Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who hails from Michigan, believes auto bailouts were a mistake

Most Republican Party candidates for president think the auto bailouts that saved GM and Chrysler and kept afloat a large part of the U.S. industrial base were a bad idea.

And they're joined by their Republican colleagues in the United States Congress who aim to challenge President Obama on his claim that the bailouts have been a resounding success.

At a GOP (Grand Old Party - a nickname for the Republican Party) presidential debate in New Hampshire earlier this month, Mitt Romney, a front-runner for his party's nomination for president, said of the Obama administration's auto bailout policy, "[Obama] was able to put his hands on the scales of justice and give these companies to UAW." The UAW is the union that represents U.S. auto workers. In the case of GM, the UAW received a share of the company in exchange for concessions on health-care benefits and pensions.

But the auto bailouts actually began in late 2008 and were also the policy of the administration of George W. Bush.

Romney risks losing lots of votes in Michigan, home to many auto industry workers. Romney also hails from the state, although his most significant political credential comes from serving as governor of Massachusetts.

At the debate, other candidates chimed in and agreed with Romney.

"It was a wrong vote then," said Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. "It's continued to be a wrong vote since then."

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum called the bailouts a 'tip to the cronies, tip to the unions, [giving] the unions the company."

But GM and Chrysler have flourished since their quick trips in and out bankruptcy. GM has had a successful IPO and has begun paying back its government loans. The company is also in the black and selling a record number of cars in China - the world's largest auto market. Chrysler is now owned by FIAT and has repaid its loans almost in their entirety already.

President Obama has been touring U.S. auto plants recently and touting the bailouts as a success, something Congressional Republicans are hoping to challenge since the Democratic Party is getting a lot of mileage from the popularity of the bailouts. The House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee, controlled by Republicans, held a hearing last week on the "Lasting Implications of the General Motors Bailout" to counter some of the claims made by the White House.

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Comments (13)

sensei sensei
Of course the Republicans think that it was a bad idea. It worked for the American people! I'm not a Democrat, but its beyond clear that the Republican Party is dedicated to the destruction of the US and are a far greater threat than bin Laden or any terrorist group.
Jun 24th, 2011 12:34pm
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donyakusa donyakusa
You hit the nail right on the head. This economy could have been in much better shape, if these obstructionists republicans had a patriotic bone in their bodies. They spend more time boycotting Obama than helping rebuild the economy.
Jul 7th, 2011 10:04pm
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axual axual
Republicans are correct. It was a bad idea. It's easy to say the bailout was a good idea and justified now, with 20/20 hindsight ... but if GM or Chrysler had filed bankruptcy, the same result would have happened. No one would have been laid off, contracts would have been renegotiated or terminated, new cars would have been designed and sold, the companies would have come out of bankruptcy, and all would have been the same. The problem is giving large corporations (or anyone) who made bad decisions (GM especially) a handout of taxpayers money. GM and Chrysler know they can continue to make bad decisions knowing the Federal Government will bail them out again. Forcing them into bankruptcy would have at least held executives responsible for their bad decisions. What has happened to personal responsibility and failing if you have made a bad decision (many of them). The liberal left (including this blog) evidently doesn't appreciate personal responsibility as being important.
Jun 23rd, 2011 9:31pm
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BrianWCF BrianWCF
"The liberal left (including this blog) evidently doesn't appreciate personal responsibility as being important." How dare you call us a blog! :D
Jun 23rd, 2011 9:58pm
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Dolomight 74-86 Dolomight 74-86
The thing you don't realize is that these companies weren't heading for chapter 11 bankruptcy. They were headed for chapter 7 liquidation. Now I wouldn't mind if the so'called big three didn't exist anymore but the liquidation process would be very messy and would lead to a lot of hell for the suppliers. Also if you take into concideration the business side of things that collapse would have "undeterminable" consequences on most if not all domestic American industries. Politicians are not economists, they're just stupid loudmouths pretending to be economists. So this isn't a matter of Left vs Right, its a matter of GDP and economics.
Jun 24th, 2011 2:18am
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RoadRunner RoadRunner
Why do american people want to see american car companies struggle,fail, be in the red, ect, ect ?
Jun 23rd, 2011 7:35pm
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Edison Edison
Good question. I don't understand these people.
Jun 23rd, 2011 11:22pm
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alessandro alessandro
It was bad idea indeed. Most of their cars is merely an idiocy sold by clientele's brain-washing. It has limits though. Oh' never mind, drive your Escalades.
Jun 23rd, 2011 12:05pm
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Narco Narco
What the hell are you talking about? Fishes, Narco.
Jun 23rd, 2011 6:22pm
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Vroom-vroom Vroom-vroom
They are hysterical. Now they are having hearings to come up with a way to challenge the obvious: the bailouts worked! Only FOX news repeats their nonsense as facts. It's no wonder FOX news watchers came in as the most misinformed.
Jun 23rd, 2011 6:24am
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Edison Edison
Do these guys have anything good to say about Obama? The auto bailout was small potatoes with arguably a good result. Ask this guy about his opinion of Junior's administration and how he thinks Iraq turned out in hindsight, because that was what really effed us...
Jun 23rd, 2011 6:24am
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trekkerbin trekkerbin
There's never right or wrong about political decisions. As long as people get to keep their jobs to support their families, Politics is simple a view from different perspectives.
Jun 23rd, 2011 4:31am
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otownusa otownusa
Well thank you Captain Hindsight for filling us in. It really is very helpful when they come back after the fact and say that it wasn't a good idea. Trouble is, the money is already gone, so bringing it up now it a null point. It's like a federal case of buyers remorse....
Jun 23rd, 2011 4:18am
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