Schwarzenegger Sides With Obama on Automakers’ Bailout

By Jennifer Parker

Nov 16, 2008 9:01am

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he would support a bailout for the Big Three automakers backed by President-elect Barack Obama — if the industry reformed itself, suggesting autoworkers’ pay and benefits need to be cut back.

"It’s very important to not just put money in — let’s see if they’ve been fiscally responsible," Schwarzenegger said of a proposal backed by Democratic leaders in Congress and Obama to bailout Detroit automakers.

"If you pay the autoworkers all of the benefits and all of those things, [those] are maybe too high," he told me in an exclusive interview Sunday on This Week.

"Right now Germany and Japan and maybe other countries, they can build cars cheaper and they don’t have the overhead with the amount of what they pay to the workers, the benefits they provide.

In America you sell a car and you have $2000 of each car that just goes to benefits,’ Schwarzenegger said.

"So, I think that there is a way of reducing all of that, make them more fiscally responsible, and then if they have to act together and have renegotiated those [union] deals them you can go in there and help them out financially," he said.

–George Stephanopoulos

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