December 3rd, 2008
02:50 PM ET
5 years ago

RGA chairman warns Obama against bailouts

Sanford was elected RGA chairman last month in Miami.
Sanford was elected RGA chairman last month in Miami.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The chairman of the Republican Governor's Association wrote to President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday, urging him to steer clear of industry bailouts and pressing for conservative solutions to the ailing economy.

In the letter, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford thanked Obama for taking time to meet with him and the rest of the nation's governors in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and promised to work with the new administration to confront the country's economic woes.

But he expressed "earnest concerns with the direction some in Washington, D.C. seem to be headed with the recent so-called 'economic recovery efforts.'"

Alluding to the failure of some Wall Street investment firms and the weakness of the domestic automobile industry, Sanford wrote that "we must be wary of the moral hazard present in the idea of bailing out the private of public sector - for what in some cases were poor decisions."

Sanford, who has long pressed the Republican party to return to its small government principles, proceeded to outline four proposals to revitalize the economy: keeping taxes low, expanding international trade beginning with approval of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, preventing the expansion of union power by not enacting "card check" legislation, and slashing government spending.

Sanford's spokesman Joel Sawyer said the note was officially written in his capacity as South Carolina's governor, not as president of the RGA, telling CNN there is "a broad degree of consensus from GOP governors on the general themes, but not every governor agrees with every point."

soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Sharon, WY

    Someone called this guy a slick salesperson today. I think they were right on the money. He's a slickster and his lines are all so gimmicky. He really started sweating when the caller asked him which programs he had cut. He said it was across the board, but I noticed he was really squirming when he mentioned Health and Education.

    He admitted he was a businessman, and there's nothing wrong with that, but a public office is for the public, not business people.

    December 3, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. I've Got His Number

    Slick.

    December 3, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Ida, NH

    Governor Slick isn't fooling anybody.

    December 3, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Rodney Hopper II

    Right, Gov. Sanford, let's just keep doing the same thing we've been doing.

    No wonder this guy couldn't tell us one difference between the economic policies of George Bush and John McCain. It looks like he can't think of an economic policy besides those of George Bush.

    December 3, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Meh

    I don't think they should be bailed out, either...and I'm not even a Republican!
    $20k private flights? Yeah, I don't think so.

    December 3, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. chuck

    Sad to say.This is all the Republicans can do--talk,talk,talk.

    December 3, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Karl in SC

    You tell him, Mark! (I doubt he'll listen.)

    December 3, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. Silence Dogood

    The People oppose the automakers bailout. But Obama is in the pockets of the corporations.

    Will Obama listen to the people or to his big corporate donors?

    December 3, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Ernie

    Obama should listen to him

    December 3, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. Michael-Ventura,CA

    Desperate times call for desperate measures–GREED has been the cause of this- and people who were the greediest need to compensate for that. The CEO's from the big three all need to work for $1.00 a year until they get their companies into the 21st century.
    At least we will have a man of Intelligence and courage in the Oval Office!

    December 3, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Matthew, Houston, TX

    Yeah, that's right, listen to the GOP, the very people who got us in this mess in the first place. Thank God, PE Obama is a lot smarter than that.

    Hey Republicans, take your failed supply side, trickle down, voodoo (to quote a Republican President) economics and just go away. History has shown that the economy overall (not just Wall Street, which is NOT the sum total of the economy or even a good indication of how the overall economy is doing) has done better when the Democrats were in charge.

    December 3, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. BS not Maverick

    Yea, Obama listen to the Republicans, they really know how to be fiscaly responsible. Give me a break, these guys don't have a clue and sure as heck do not want to look at the statistics for defidit concerning GOP Presidents.

    December 3, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. jon

    why on earth would obama listen to REPUBLICANS, the same group of people who allowed the financial industry to get to where it is now, for advice on how to save the industry?

    December 3, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  14. reality check

    conservative.........liberal.........blah,blah,blah. How about something that just works........or at the very least, keeps us from falling into a depression.

    December 3, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Independent Fred

    Hilarious!!! so we're just supposed to sit idle while 2.5 million WORKING americans go under but it was ok to bail out wall street?!?

    Good God these guys are gonna loose for another 12 – 16 years. GOP leadership doesn't get it we are tired of getting the short end of the.
    stick. Have unions gotten to big for their own good you're darn right.

    That still pales in comparison to Multi million dollar bonus CEO checks. I want CEO pay cut to 400K before and the UAW job pool gone before any of these dopes recieve 1 more drop of my tax money.

    December 3, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Liberal and Proud of It

    Here we go.
    How can a Republican who encouraged us to vote for Bush have the gall to ask now for fiscal responsibility? How can a spokesman of the poisonous Conservatism that has almost destroyed the nation even show his face in public?
    American Conservatism started its career in crime by defending slavery and trying to rend this nation apart. For 150 years, Conservatism has been on the wrong side of every argument. Conservatism opposed giving minorities and women the vote, giving women and minorities equal rights, and abolishing child labor. Conservatism was against food health inspections, workplace safety laws, the 8 hour day, the 40 hour week, overtime pay, allowing women to wear pants (!!!), medicare, medicaid, child health programs (!!!!!!), allowing minorities to attend college, and desegregation of public facilities like restaurants.

    Now this Conservative has the nerve to warn Democrats that they should not try to mop up the messes that Conservatives have caused.

    I need to go take a pill.

    December 3, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Megan

    I agree! These auto guys just don't get it, just like McCain didn't get it. Taking private planes to meetings was the first example. And The $1 salary doesn't count when you made over $12M last year as you were driving your co. into disaster. They all need to be replaced, and GM should probably go under. Let's take the autoworkers and have them build an environmentally safe and fast railroad system.

    December 3, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Dee

    I'm sure that Barack doesn't need any "warning" from anyone on what's at stake...

    December 3, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Godluvr

    Gov. Sanford:

    Have you worked on the racism that tarnishes your state? Did you write and ask President Bush to not endanger our natural resources by his midnight sneaky Laws? Did you ask President Bush to please attempt to bring a resolution to the 3GM Bailouts before leaving office? Did you write Sen. McCain, and ask him to reconsider disgracing your party's reputation, by his putting Palin on the ticket?

    If you have answered no to these questions, you are not qualified to request anything from PE Obama! Will you please be quiet, be still, and let our new Democratic President do his job?

    It's time to step aside and observe how government is supposed to function!

    PUMA: I pray the LIGHT of the world shines some love in you!

    Sincerely,

    A Proud Supporter of P-E Barack Obama and TEAM!

    December 3, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. CD from CO

    What's the matter with loan? They would HAVE to pay it back. The auto industries have to come up with a plan..... and getting rid of $75 dollars an hour should go. I am a Democrat and believer in unions, but these unions are hurting the companies more than they are helping. Some of your people might just have to take cuts in pay AND lose some benefits in order to keep the auto companies afloat....otherwise, you will all be looking for jobs at minimum wage.......Better get your priorities straight.

    December 3, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. no bailouts

    we can't even afford to buy their OVER-PRICED cars, why should we bail them out. NO BAILOUTS.

    December 3, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Bail me out

    The CEOs are pleading for billions of dollars to preserve jobs.
    Theirs.

    December 3, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Nick

    Of course Mark is against a bailout. He's in South Carolina, there's a BMW plant there, and it's non-union, just like the auto plant in Alabama, which is also against a bailout. A bailout doesn't benefit their states.

    December 3, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Steph

    South Carolina has one of the lowest graduation rates, one of the lowest literacy rates and one of the highest obesity rates, AND one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Yup, conservative "solutions" have worked well. We should follow this man's advice. The whole country could be doing as well as South Carolina!

    December 3, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  25. Dave in NYC

    Look, we ALL have "moral" concerns about bailing out these companies, but when will Republicans learn: 9 out of 10 economists say that the conservative "solution" of expanding trade and cutting taxes WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

    Not to mention, how dumb to we have to be before we admit that we've tried the conservative "solution" of cutting taxes and increasing free trade for the last 8 years.... and guess what, folks? It has NOT worked!

    We don't need economists to tell us what we've seen with our own eyes these last 8 years!

    December 3, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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