Entries in Bailout (7)


Obama, Biden Unite as Auto Champions in Ohio

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(DAYTON, Ohio) – With debate season in the rearview mirror, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden united Tuesday in western Ohio, casting themselves as the only true champions of the state’s resurgent auto industry in an effort to bolster their working-class vote.

The Democratic ticket triumphantly asserted that voters there understand better than any what the Obama-backed 2009 auto bailout meant for Ohio jobs. And they argued that no matter what Republican nominee Mitt Romney now says, his past opposition to the bailout is widely known.

“I hope I made clear that there’s a big difference between me and Mitt Romney. And it’s not just that he’s got better hair,” Obama joked about Monday night’s final presidential debate.

“Governor Romney looked you right in the eye, looked me in the eye, tried to pretend that he never said, 'Let Detroit go bankrupt.' Tried to pretend he meant the same thing I did when we intervened and worked to make sure that management and workers got together to save the U.S. auto industry, pretended like somehow I have taken his advice,” Obama said.

“The people don’t forget. The people of Dayton don’t forget. The people of Ohio don’t forget,” he said.

In 2008, Romney wrote an op-ed in the New York Times opposing a taxpayer-funded bailout of GM and Chrysler, calling instead for a “managed bankruptcy,” which ultimately occurred. The article’s title, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” was written by the paper, not Romney.

“Barack Obama’s attack has been deemed false by multiple independent fact checkers and is clearly designed to hide his failed record and lack of an agenda for a second term. Mitt Romney proposed the right course for the automakers, a structured bankruptcy process to allow them to keep jobs in Ohio and emerge as sustainable and profitable enterprises,” said Romney spokesman Chris Maloney.

Democrats contend the process could not have proceeded successfully without the backing of the federal government to assure investors.

“Without government support, those companies would have fallen,” said senior Obama advisor David Plouffe. “I think Gov. Romney was having one of his bouts of ‘Romnesia’ he has. If he was president of the U.S. the American auto industry would have been decimated.”

The auto industry supports one in eight Ohio jobs, according to the Labor Department.

Obama has visited Ohio 17 times this year -- more than any other state. Vice President Biden has swung through the state nine times, often focusing on the auto manufacturing theme.

Biden Tuesday accused Romney of trying to “rewrite history” on the auto industry rescue in claiming that a managed bankruptcy was his idea all along.

“Half the time, I didn’t know whether Governor Romney was there to debate Barack Obama or endorse Barack Obama,” he said mockingly. “You know, I mean, it was hard to tell! But I have a message for the good governor. Governor, you can’t run from the truth.”

Polls show the Obama-Biden ticket holds a slight lead over Romney-Ryan in the 2012 presidential race in Ohio, but the margin has tightened in recent weeks. No candidate for president since 1960 has won the presidency without winning Ohio.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Fact Checking Joe Biden’s Bain ‘Bailout’ Claim

JIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden recently made the claim that Mitt Romney received a “federal bailout” for Bain & Company, costing “the government and American taxpayers $10 million.”  But as the Washington Post reported, Biden’s assertion that the deal cost taxpayers millions of dollars is false since the money came from an institution that does not utilize taxpayer funding.

Biden’s claim stemmed from a recent Rolling Stone report that said “Romney was willing to go to extremes to secure a federal bailout to serve his own interests” in Bain & Company.

In 1990, Romney led the restructuring of Bain & Company, from which Bain Capital spun off in the 1980s.  Bain & Company developed problems after the partners drained $200 million of borrowed money from the firm.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) was involved in the loan restructuring since it assumed the Bank of New England, to which Bain & Company owed $38 million.  The Boston Globe reported in 1994 that the FDIC agreed to lower the amount owed by $10 million, but the FDIC, a government agency, notably does not utilize taxpayer funding and instead is financed through deposit insurance payments, which negates Biden’s claim that the restructuring cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

In the 1994 Massachusetts Senate race, Romney’s opponent, Sen. Ted Kennedy, considered using this line of attack against Romney in an ad but never released the TV spot “because it turned out to be unnecessary,” Politico reported in July.

ABC News’ White House Correspondent Jake Tapper raised Biden’s inaccurate claim during an ABC News/Yahoo! News interview when he asked Obama campaign officials if making false assertions undermines the Obama campaign’s argument that the Romney team is telling lies.

“When it came to a challenge for the firm of himself and his partners he went to the federal government, to the FDIC, to get a bailout.  So I think we try very hard,” press secretary Ben LaBolt said.

“But that’s not taxpayer funds, the FDIC,” Tapper responded.

Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter noted the FDIC is “taxpayer guaranteed.”

“I understand the conversation that we’re having about whether campaigns sometimes bend the truth.  And we try very hard to get it right.  As opposed to the Romney campaign, who’ve said they’re not going to run their campaign based on fact checks, which means facts don’t matter to them.  We do care about fact checks.  We do care about the honesty of our ads,” Cutter said.

“I think all of the examples you’ve brought up -- the FDIC bailout -- we presented the facts.  We made our case.  We -- we did everything we can that they’re accurate claims,” Cutter later added.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Michigan TV Ad Jabs Romney on Controversial Auto Bailout

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Just days before the Michigan GOP primary, the Obama campaign has taken a swipe at former Gov. Mitt Romney in a new TV ad that contrasts the president’s support for a 2009 bailout of Detroit-based GM and Chrysler with Romney’s opinion that they should go through bankruptcy without taxpayer help.

“When a million jobs were on the line,” the narrator says of the 2008 financial crisis that consumed the automakers, “every Republican candidate turned their back.”

“Even said ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt,'” flashing Romney’s face and the headline from his November 2008 op-ed in the New York Times.  (It should be noted that Romney never said those exact words; they were affixed to his op-ed by a Times editor.)

Democrats have made the financial rescue the centerpiece of their campaign in Michigan, hammering Romney for weeks in an effort to undermine support for him in a state where automakers and their suppliers are the largest employers.

Romney said he wanted a “managed bankruptcy,” whereby the companies would have been restructured without taxpayer funds.  Many experts, however, doubt they could have survived without the advance aid.

The Obama administration claims the infusion of more than $40 billion in government cash to keep the companies afloat saved more than a million jobs and led to more than 200,000 jobs created at the companies since June 2009. His critics doubt a million jobs would have been lost, and argue bond holders would have been able to recover their investments had a bankruptcy would have been allowed to proceed.

GM reported last week a record profit for 2011 and reassumed the mantle of the number one automaker in the world.  The company also said its 47,500 union workers would receive $7,000 each in shared profits -- the largest sum ever.

The gains, however, have come at a cost to taxpayers.

Chrysler has paid back only $10.6 of $12.5 billion received from the government under Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, according to figures provided by the White House.

GM has repaid $26 billion to date, after receiving $13.4 billion under Bush and $36.1 billion under Obama.  The Treasury Department continues to own 500 million shares of GM stock, or roughly 32 percent of the company.  The price of those shares will determine how much taxpayers will recoup or lose, if and when the government sells.

The new Obama ad, the campaign’s second of the 2012 cycle, will run in four Michigan markets -- Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Flint, an official said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Democrats Hit Romney on Auto Bailout

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ahead of Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate in Michigan, Democrats are renewing attacks on Mitt Romney over his opposition to the multi-billion dollar government bailouts of GM and Chrysler -- automobile giants that are headquartered in the state.

In a new web video titled “Hit the Road, Mitt,” the Democratic National Committee highlights a November 2008 op-ed Romney penned for The New York Times titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” and features an audio clip of Romney saying those same words.

“This city.  Where American rubber meets the road.  A town that’s been to hell and back.  So what was his answer for the Motor City?” the narrator asks.

“Let Detroit go bankrupt,” interjects Romney’s voice.

The automakers, who did ultimately receive an infusion of government cash backed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats, have since experienced a resurgence of viability and profitability.  The issue has become an accomplishment frequently cited by Obama and his re-election campaign.

“Voters in Michigan will have a clear choice between Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican field which wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt, and President Obama, who not only extended a loan and restructuring package that saved 1.4 million jobs up and down the auto supply chain,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.

GM and Chrysler have repaid much of the funds they received and preserved thousands of American jobs, but independent analysts say the bailout has cost taxpayers at least $14 billion because the stock the government received in exchange for the loans -- and later sold -- did not equal the value of the loans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Harps on Cozy Ties Between Washington and Wall Street

Alex Wong/Getty Images(JOHNSTON, Iowa) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry continued to criticize the Washington establishment Thursday, this time taking issue with what he suggested are cozy ties between Wall Street and the federal government.

Perry made his point at a “town hall” session in Johnston, Iowa with employees of Pioneer Hi-Bred, the largest producer of hybrid seeds in the United States, after a member of the audience asked how he’d prevent CEOs of financial institutions from allowing their companies to fail.

“I happen to think Wall Street and Washington, D.C., have been in bed together way too long,” Perry said.  “One of the reasons that the establishment really doesn’t like me and really doesn’t like my tax plan is because they know I’m going to show up in Washington, D.C., with a sledgehammer and they’re not going to like it.  And that’s exactly what I think this country needs in Washington, is somebody who’s not afraid to go in and really crush that system.”

Perry argued some federal banking regulations originated as a “knee-jerk reaction,” and he said he never would have supported a bailout.

“Dodd Frank and that banking regulation that came into place after the Wall Street debacle was a knee-jerk reaction by Washington, D.C., that actually has put us in substantially worse position than we were before,” he said.  “It institutionalized what they were trying to keep from happening in the federal government bailout.  I would never have bailed anybody out.  When you make really bad decisions, if you are big too fail, you are too big -- and I don’t care whether you’re a country or whether you’re a corporation or whether you’re a small business down on Main Street, and I sure haven’t seen any small businesses being bailed out by government.”

Perry reiterated his view that the federal government should not meddle with issues that should be left to the states.

“I’m the first to tell people, I’m not a big fan of Washington, D.C.,” Perry said.  “I think they need to do a few things and do those few things really well, but I don’t think they have the intellectual firepower to decide how one size can fit all these 50 laboratories of innovations that are out here called states.”

Perry closed his town hall by posing a new question to the audience about the state of their lives, asking, “Are you better off today than you were $4 trillion ago?”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Visit Ohio Chrysler Plant, Speak on Auto Bailout's Success

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(TOLEDO, Ohio) -- President Obama will visit a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio Friday, congratulating once-bankrupt auto companies for zooming back to life.

The president is expected to tout the success of bailing out the auto industry -- a decision that was not popular when he took office, and remains controversial for some, who re-dubbed General Motors' "GM" as "Government Motors."

His tour of the plant comes a day after the Treasury Department announced it was selling back its final stake in Chrysler to Fiat.  After being bailed out, Chrysler has repaid all of its debt, six years ahead of schedule.

Half of the General Motors stock the government owns has been sold back to the public, and the White House claims taxpayers will get back $66 billion of the $80 billion invested.

And perhaps not coincidentally, Obama's announcement is being made in a key a battleground state in the 2012 election.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Hails Chrysler Factory 'Shining Example' of Auto Recovery 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KOKOMO, Ind.) -- Describing the Chrysler factory as once “dark and empty,” President Obama on Tuesday trumpeted the success of the Kokomo, Indiana, factory, now at full capacity, hailing it a “shining example” of the auto industry’s recovery since the federal bailout.

“Even as we continue to face serious challenges, what's happening here at this plant, the changes we're seeing throughout Kokomo, are signs of hope and confidence in the future, in our future, together,” Obama said from the floor of the Chrysler factory Tuesday afternoon.

The Kokomo plant two years ago had plummeting production and had to lay off many of their workers. With the federal government’s bailout, the plant is back at full capacity and hiring workers. Kokomo's unemployment has gone from a staggering 20 percent in June of 2009 to 12 percent this fall.

“There were those who were prepared to give up on Kokomo and our auto industry,” the president said. “There were those who said it was going to be too difficult, or that it was bad politics, or it was throwing good money after bad. You remember the voices arguing for us to do nothing. They were pretty loud, suggesting we should just step back and watch an entire sector of our economy fall apart.”

The president heralded the Big Three automakers’ recovery as well, saying that for the first time in over a decade Americans are buying a larger share of Chrysler, Ford, and GM cars and a smaller share of their foreign counterparts.

Bringing up the bipartisan summit scheduled for next Tuesday from the White House, the president called for Democrats and Republicans to work together to better the economy, and work on tax cuts, in order to “make it easier, not harder, for middle-class families to get ahead.”

President Obama and Vice President Biden made three local stops in the Kokomo area. The pair visited an elementary school and the Gingerbread House Bakery and ate lunch with firefighters who had been laid off but got their jobs back due to a FEMA grant.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio