) - The White House asked
to pull a TV ad that seemed critical of the bailouts championed by President Obama, according to a published report.
Ford has denied the report.
In the ad, a male F150 buyer identified only as Chris proclaims: "I wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own: Win, lose, or draw."
The ad made the case that
Ford stood on its own when rivals Chrysler and
required government bailouts. Ford executives, from CEO Alan Mulally on down, have said regularly that the story of Ford's self-reliance has helped Ford sales.
Unfortunately, according to
columnist Daniel Howes, that story line can also be read as casting aspersions on the Obama White House.
"Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy," Howes wrote, in today's edition of
The Detroit News
"With President Barack Obama tuning his re-election campaign amid dismal economic conditions and simmering antipathy toward his stimulus spending and associated bailouts, the Ford ad carried the makings of a political liability when Team Obama can least afford yet another one," Howes said.
A Ford spokesman reminded
that the automaker "supported emergency government support for our competitors in 2008 and 2009 and continues to support the decisions we made." As for the ad, the spokesman said, it "has stopped running as part of its previously planned rotation," rather than because of pressure from the White House.
-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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