This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

George Bush: I Would Again Bail Out Automakers

DETROIT TheStreet) -- Many Republicans oppose the billions of dollars in bailouts that saved the U.S. auto industry, but former President George W. Bush isn't among them.

"I'd do it again," Bush said Monday during the closing address at the annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention in Las Vegas, according to The Detroit News. "I didn't want there to be 21% unemployment."

In the closing days of his administration in December 2008, after Congress failed to act, Bush provided the auto industry with $25 billion in emergency aid, including $13.4 billion for GM (GM) and $4 billion for Chrysler. In its early days in office, the Obama administration in 2009 provided another $60 billion.

"I didn't want to saddle my successor with an additional economic crisis," Bush said, according to the newspaper. Instead, he extended the loan long enough for Obama "to get his team on the ground and deal with it."

Chrysler repaid its loans last May, while GM has repaid about $23 billion. The U.S. Treasury owns 26% of GM's shares. Chrysler reported a 2011 profit last week while GM, which is also profitable, will report full-year earnings next week.

The bailout of the U.S. auto industry is shaping up to be a principal issue in the 2012 presidential election. One sign is the current round of political debate over Chrysler's "Halftime in America" Super Bowl ad, in which Clint Eastwood proclaims that the U.S. should take a lesson from Detroit, which toughed it out and emerged stronger after the recession.

"The fog of division, discord and blame made it hard to see what lies ahead," Eastwood said. But "we find a way through tough times, and if we can't find a way, then we'll make one." It seems, on the surface, to be a tribute to American resourcefulness, as epitomized by Detroit, and on top of that it is an ad for Chrysler products. But some see a conspiratorial element.

"The leadership of auto companies feel they need to do something to repay their political patronage," Republican strategist Karl Rove said Monday on Fox News. "It is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,912.11 -70.48 -0.42%
S&P 500 1,969.95 -8.96 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,442.6980 -2.2110 -0.05%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs