by Keith Laing, The Hill Newspaper
Republicans are circulating remarks President Obama made on Thursday about the bailout of U.S. automakers, arguing that he wants to repeat the $80 billion federal loans in other industries.
The Republican National Committee’s rapid-response team uploaded remarks Obama made in Pueblo, Colo., to YouTube.
In the video, Obama said “[I] said, I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back. Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.”
The remarks have been a part of Obama’s stump speech throughout his presidency, and he has used similar language in State of the Union addresses since taking office in 2009.
“On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse,” Obama said in this year’s State of the Union. “Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen.
“What’s happening in Detroit can happen in other industries,” Obama continued in his speech to Congress in January. “It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh.”
Obama delivered the same lines the GOP was circulating Thursday in a speech later in the day in Colorado Springs, but Republicans took to Twitter anyway to suggest he was making a new argument.
“Here we go again. President opens mouth, proposes bailout ‘in every industry,'” an aide to presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Brendan Buck, tweeted.
Democrats have frequently attacked Romney because of a 2008 New York Times op-ed he wrote that was titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
Romney has argued that Obama was following his advice of allowing the companies to go through a “managed bankruptcy” when he placed conditions on the loans in 2009. Democrats have said that the GOP standard-bearer would have prefered to let the auto companies go out of business.
Critics of the auto bailouts note that despite repayments from both Chrysler and General Motors, which were heralded by Democrats, the U.S. Treasury Department has said the federal government is not likely to recover $1.9 billion of its initial investment in Chrysler.
The government also still owns shares of GM, which has led some conservatives to derisively refer to the company as “Government Motors.”