McCain: No Auto Bailout Until Wages, Benefits Come Down

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 14, 2008 9:52am

During the campaign, Sen. John McCain argued the nation must keep the auto industry alive.

So I asked him during our ‘This Week’ interview why he joined the effort to kill the auto bailout bill in the Senate this week?

"Because I didn’t believe that this fix would keep the auto industry alive," McCain said, "I think it just put them on some life support system for two or three months because they didn’t make the fundamental changes."

McCain said the auto industry needs to limit high costs, salaries, wages and benefits for its workers "which will put them in line and make them competitive with foreign manufacturers in the United States."

"What is the point if we just kept at least two of the three (automakers) alive for another two or three or four months." McCain said, "You end up in the same position only you’ve spent an additional $15-billion."

McCain suggested he was open to the possibility of letting the automakers file for bankruptcy.

"I think that if not bankruptcy, certainly a bankruptcy-like solution, which forces everybody to sit down at the table and redo all these agreements," he said.

–George Stephanopoulos

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