Vice President Joe Biden addressed the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Thursday and reminisced about the state of the industry before and after the Obama administration came into office. He observed that the steep decline in auto sales during President Obama's first year in office "had nothing to do with us ... we get more credit sometimes than we deserve." It appears Biden was using "credit" ironically, suggesting the critics of the president hold him responsible for things that were outside his ability to control.
Here are his remarks in context:
My mother -- my deceased wife used to say that the greatest gift God gave mankind, and she meant it, was the ability to forget -- I'm being serious - think about it -- the greatest gift is the ability to forget, to forget the bad things and focus on the good. The good news is American public had already forgotten how tough it was in '07, '08, '09 and the good news is that we're back. Car sales, when we took office -- it had nothing to do with us -- in 2009 - I don't mean -- we, we get more credit sometimes than we deserve - in 2009, they plunged 40% in a single year.
On the floor of the Senate today, Harry Reid, a Democrat, praised President Obama's auto bailout:
"As a matter of fact, Mr. President, the figures are really staggering," said Reid. "500,000 manufacturing jobs have been added, 1 million jobs have been saved due to the president's auto rescue program. So that's a fairly significant change."
The legislation to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy has been turned into something of a mini auto bailout, according to those familiar with the Obama administration's request. The request includes millions of dollars worth of cars, to be paid for by the federal government.
Obama's request, as detailed in a letter sent to Capitol Hill by the director of the White House's Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients, includes these requests:
The auto bailout debate, already a triumph of narrative over reality, took another turn for the absurd last week as both presidential campaigns exchanged salvos over what amounted to a misunderstanding about Chrysler's plan to build Jeeps in China.
The United Auto Workers union is sending out a letter from its legislative director, Josh Nassar, urging senators to vote against several budgets pending in the Senate. One of the budgets UAW apparently opposes is President Obama's own budget.
The Detroit Free Press reports that “General Motors made $1 billion in the first quarter, beating analysts’ expectations before being dragged down by a special accounting-related $590-million charge in struggling Europe.”