Obama on GM: Tough Decisions Are Starting to Pay Off

Nov 18, 2010 5:39pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: Holding it up as evidence that the steps his administration took during the financial crisis are starting to pay off, President Obama today came to the White House briefing room to hail the news of General Motors’ initial public offering. “Today one of the toughest tales of the recession took another big step towards becoming a success story,” the president said to reporters, “we are finally beginning to see some of these tough decisions that we made in the midst of crisis pay off." Calling it a “good thing,” the president emphasized that American taxpayers are now in a position to recover more than his administration invested in GM. This of course leaves out what the previous administration invested in GM as well. “Last year, we told GM's management and workers that if they made the tough decisions necessary to make themselves more competitive in the 21st century, decisions requiring real leadership, fresh thinking and also some shared sacrifice, then we would stand by them,” Mr. Obama said. “And because they did, the American auto industry, an industry that's been the proud symbol of America's manufacturing might for a century, an industry that helped to build our middle class, is once again on the rise.”                                     More broadly the president said the health of the car industry in general is starting to recover as well, something that he said “seemed impossible,” two years ago.     “Our automakers are in the midst of their strongest period of job growth in more than a decade,” he touted. “For  the first time in six years, Ford, GM and Chrysler are all operating  at a profit.  In fact, last week GM announced its best quarter in over 11 years.” The president said he is “absolutely” confident that the industry will keep on making progress in the future. Singling out Ron Bloom and Brian Deese, two members of the president’s task force, Mr. Obama said that had it not been for these two men many Americans would not have their job.  According to a study by the Center for Automotive Research the government’s bailout program for GM, Chrysler and other auto companies saved more than 1.4 million jobs. -Sunlen Miller      

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