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. sam gomez

    I would like to know what, if any, letters the governor wrote to GWB regarding not bailing out companies. Did he advise Bush not to do this? If not, he needs to shut the hell up. Where do republicans think they get off advising liberals that they have to govern conservatively? A liberal will govern as a liberal will. that's what he was elected for. Would mr. sanford like it if I wrote him a letter saying he should govern with liberal principles?

    ridiculous. republicans never cease to amaze me with their chutzpah.

    December 3, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  2. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    And yet with the four things he's outlined, he offered no real solutions. Can we have a plan? Enough with political ideology Gov. Sanford, we want answers, we want solutions.

    December 3, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. brian

    Yes, NO MORE BAILOUTS!!!!!!! If their business model is broken, they (Auto) need to fix it. The problem they have is the unions are srangling the life out of them. Toyoto and Honda do not have this problem with their operations here in the U.S. BREAK THE UNIONS!

    December 3, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. Ken in Dallas

    Sanford's oblivious. If we hadn't allowed the whole auto industry to consolidate into just three companies, we'd have been able to let one or two go without wrecking the economy. For better or worse, the Big Three are a de facto public trust, because we neglected to pursue a proper anti-trust policy.

    This is what it costs to permit competition to become a sham.

    December 3, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Ken

    This [R] pinhead can take a seat. We've had enough of [R] rule. But apparently SC hasn't, and that's OK; as Sanford said the other day, SC can make it on it own. The president and congress should remember that when Sanford comes running on his furry little legs to DC for help, as his state slips into the Dark Ages because of the larger economic mess brought on by the incompetence of his own party.

    December 3, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. hugh ~ california

    South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford represents the same old policies that got us into this mess in the first place. He and George W. are two peas in a pod! The G.O.P.=Greedy Old Party!

    December 3, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  7. Danny, OH

    Where was this guy the last 8 years?

    December 3, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. gerry

    Maybe Sanford should direct his comments to GW Bush, since they've already committed 7.5 trillion with no oversite.

    He should also consider that "Those conservative values" he cherishes so much is what put the country in the ditch.

    Go back under your rock, Sanford.

    December 3, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  9. Voter

    The Republicans have screwed up this economy so badly that their so called "conservative solutions" won't do the trick.

    Looks like they still don't get it.

    December 3, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Ex-Republican

    Oh yea...BRILLIANT solution. Conservative solutions got us INTO this mess..... STFU you neo-con scum!

    PS: I do not endorse the bail out of the big 3. But the last thing I want to hear ANYONE advise is to use "Conservative Solutions". Those crack heads screwed it up for 6 years with their 'conservative' BS! We need PROGRESSIVE solutions, something the current GOP party hasn't a clue of!

    How about them republicans that voted in line with Bush 75% of the time or more, serve life sentences for thier treason against the american people!

    December 3, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. Dan

    Right, because Obama was elected with a mandate to pursue "conservative solutions" to the economy. Since they've worked so well the last 8 years.

    Are you a serious person, Mark Sanford?

    The last thing this country needs is more pointless ideology. Pursue solutions that work. And in the cast of the auto industry, if we lose another 3 million jobs and the failure of 2 of America's biggest companies signals another chain effect of bankruptcies (remember what happened when Lehman was allowed to fail?), this is going to be worse than the Great Depression.

    I don't care about your conservatism or some ridiculous principle. I care about living in a prosperous society that will allow my children to secure the best futures they can. Mark Sanford, you are part of the problem.

    December 3, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    One more time... where was this guy the last 8 years..

    December 3, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  13. David

    1 in 10 jobs are tie to the Auto industry but it don't stop there most shops that produce parts services the auto industry now we're talking not only jobs but business failing so RGA need to think this through thiscould effect their states. I wish we didn't have to bail anyone out but just look at what's going on around the world the other countries are bailing out their business and we must do the same to compete.

    December 3, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. cmc

    Was the money for Wall Street a bailout or a loan? If the auto industry wants a loan, doesn't that mean it will be paid back?.

    December 3, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Steve

    Sounds like the 2012 Presidential campaign has already started...

    December 3, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Doug R.

    I wonder what this Mr. Sanford (R-SC) thinks about the nearly 1,000,000 people in South Carolina without any type of health care insurance or coverage. This is not a bailout, it's a loan and it's going to be paid back. Sanford was one of three governors (out of 50 ) who are opposed to loaning the auto industry any money. Sanford is also opposed to any sort of stimulus. By the way, where's Bush these days??

    December 3, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Ulterior Motives

    Selfish bum ... both South Carolina and Alabama ... two states with Republican governors I'll bet .... have car plants in them by non-US based companies.

    These guys are simply hoping for more sales of these foreign autos which will translate into more jobs / taxes in there own states....

    Not everyone in the public is stupid you know ...

    December 3, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Dave Smith

    The governor is all talk. He should spell out in clear detail how he would fix the economy. Saying he was speaking as Governor and not the RGA shows that there is not consensus or leadership from the Republicans.

    December 3, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Scott

    I don't know a lot about Gov. Sanford's background although he does have an MBA which under normal circumstances would give him some latitude to comment on how to handle the economy. However, these are drastic times, look where some of the "best and brightest" MBA holders have gotten us. It's really hard at this point to listen to anyone about the best ways to fix the economy, particularly a republican, who does not have a Ph.D. in the subject. Furthermore what is Gov. Sanford's objective with this statement? I don't think the American people are stupid enough to fall for this thinly veiled attempt at the old switcheroo. Gov. Sanford it was your parties policies and governance that got us into this situation. You have to be absolutely bereft of any intellect if you believe the best way to deal with this problem is to attempt to shift the blame using pithy rhetoric towards our future administration while the very appointee's of your current administration show such ineptitude at using the tools available to them to restore economic security to the American people.

    December 3, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Kathy

    The bail out of the Auto industry would be a big mistake. Gov. needs to stay out of it and let them reorganize. Throwing money at a problem won't make it go away. Look at our welfare system, it only holds people back. Perfect example.

    December 3, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    That is fine, but we need some types of regulations. Like I said, under Clinton, only X number of IT jobs can be offshored. Under W, anything goes. We should only offshore jobs after there's no American left to do the JOB.

    December 3, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Kathy in NC

    Dave in NYC, you hit the nail on the head. We have tried the tired and worn out way of the Republicans. There way is not the magic bullet to come out of this mess. It will take many ideas, new and different approaches. We must open our minds up to the new. We as a country have to be willing to sacrifice NOW, because the word never entered into our vocabulary in times past. It is going to be painful to come out, but nothing that is worth having is ever painless. We all desire a viable, strong economy and prosperity. Let's do what we have to do now and enjoy the fruits later.

    December 3, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. Tim

    Apparently the republican governers would rather pay several hundred thousand people unemployment rather than extend a loan.

    December 3, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Art

    If we bailout with a loan that they have to pay back then they are further in debt and people still won't be buying new cars because the economy is fragile so they ask for more later.

    If we don't bailout then thousands of jobs will be lost and the economy will be further damaged.

    So, what we gonna do?

    December 3, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. p1tey1

    Aren't we in this mess because of Republican ideology??? Did this guy not get the message NOVEMBER 4th!!!???

    December 3, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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