Obama: Bush bailed out Detroit; I saved it

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering

President Obama today asserted that President Bush was responsible for bailing out auto companies in Detroit. Obama, on the other hand, implemented dramatic changes that saved the industry.

"Keep in mind," Obama said, "That the administration before us, they had been writing some checks to the auto industry asking nothing in return. It was just a bailout, straight -- straightforward."

Obama explained that he "demanded responsibility" from the auto industry, forcing it to "retool and to restructure," making it "more efficient."

"Over the past two years, that entire industry has added nearly 160,000 jobs," Obama continued. "GM is number one in the world again.  Ford is investing billions in new American plants.  Chrysler is growing faster.  So today, the American auto industry is back."

Bush did authorize the first auto loan of a $17.4 billion, in October 2008, declaring some aspects of the loan depended on the companies hitting “Restructuring Targets."

Obama, however, gave the auto industry an $85 billion bailout. His retooling of the industry forced aside creditors in favor of the UAW union workers.

According to the Detroit News, the Treasury Department announced in November that it expects to lose $23.6 billion in the auto bailout, as a result of the sharp decline in GM stock.

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