Monday, May 30, 2011

Obama hopes to change views on auto industry bailout

Obama hopes to change views on auto industry bailout - Brian Hughes/Washington Examiner
President Obama is hoping to change voters' views of his controversial bailout of the auto industry and turn his own political liability against Republicans amid signs that U.S. automakers are rebounding.
At the height of the bailout rage -- when the government pumped billions of dollars into General Motors and Chrysler despite a Republican outcry -- it would have been difficult for liberals to craft a winning political message defending big-government spending.

But now that Chrysler has repaid its $5.1 billion loans six years early, Obama is traveling to one of the company's plants in the battleground state of Ohio this week to make the case that the bailout was good for the auto industry and the ailing American economy.

For the White House, the improving auto industry offers an opportunity to rebrand massive government spending and the president's agenda in a positive light. Administration officials see the effort as a cornerstone of the president's re-election bid, particularly in the Rust Belt and other states with deep stakes in the auto industry.