General Motors, in a surprising twist to the 2012 Presidential campaigning, have told both Democratic President Barack Obama, and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, that they cannot campaign or come visit any GM facility until they’ve been elected President, which happens November 6.
In a report from the Detroit Free Press, both GM and Chrysler have asked that either candidate not come and use them as a campaign stop. As we all know GM and Chrysler both received government bridge loans/bailouts in 2009 to help them survive the poor decisions they’d made in the past. Both companies went bankrupt even with government funding, with the government, under President Obama, taking a 60% ownership stake in GM -and still owning 32% as of now. Chrysler were sold to Fiat and have paid back all government loans.
It should be noted that while under President Obama’s first year in office, the Treasury Department provided money for GM and Chrysler to be bailed out, so to speak, but it actually started under President Bush. Under Bush the Detroit 3 all got money to help them stay above water until the current administration had time to deal with the matter properly.
While President Obama touts General Motors and Chrysler’s successes over the last few years, GOP rival Romney disagrees and says it’s cost the tax payers too much money. The former Massachusetts Governor also claims that Obama orchestrated things to help the United Auto Workers, UAW, be taken care of at the expense of bondholders who lost money on the bailouts.
General Motors and Chrysler have both done very well in the last few years, adding back workers, production facilities, and selling good product. The choice to now allow either of the political candidates to do their campaigning at the Detroit 2’s factories is, in my opinion, a proper role to take. Bailing GM and Chrysler out wasn’t a political thing, it was an American thing. Having both companies fail would have certainly be catastrophic to the U.S.’s auto industry, as well as to the respective companies that sell billions of dollars worth of equipment, materials, services, and parts to our industry. So to campaign and say it was because of you, not the hard work of the individuals within that company, or taxpayer funds, is ignorant. But to also say that we shouldn’t have helped either company is just as ignorant.
RawAutos applauds both Chrysler and General Motors for making a stand and for GM being tired of the ‘Government Motors’ or ‘Obama Motors’ monikers.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
[Image: General Motors]