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How Paul Ryan Solves Romney's Auto Bailout Problem

Stocks in this article: F GM

GM spokeswoman Katie McBride said the plant was placed on standby status when it closed "and will remain in this status for the foreseeable future. Future market conditions and our UAW-GM national agreement will dictate what happens to the plant going forward."

Ryan was one of 32 House Republicans to break with their party and support the bailout, Automotive News reported.

Subsequently, Ryan has offered various rationales for his support of the bill, as Automotive News detailed. In a 2008 statement, he said that the loan he backed would not use any tax dollars, and that "any assistance to the domestic auto industry should be drawn from previously approved funds from a U.S. Department of Energy loan package, rather than divert resources from the financial rescue package or rely on additional taxpayer dollars."

In a June 2010 interview with the Fox Business Network, Ryan said he wouldn't have backed the bailout if he had known the loans would come from TARP.

"The whole purpose of voting for that auto bill was to prevent the auto companies from getting TARP dollars," Ryan said. "What happened? It didn't get that money and President Bush, followed by President Obama, gave them TARP and now TARP has become this revolving government slush fund."

Although Romney is the son of the former president of American Motors, he does not generally share the views of people in the auto industry. Often it seems that the harsh realities of dysfunctional politics force Romney into a corner where he must oppose the Obama administration's policies at every turn, and oppose government involvement in the economy even when it is needed.

In 2008, in a now-famous column he wrote for The New York Times before Obama took office, Romney began by sayingL "If General Motors and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for on Tuesday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed." The column was headlined "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," and, as often happens; the headline is the best remembered part of the story.

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