December 3rd, 2008
02:50 PM ET
6 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. Don

    "Conservative Solutions" is an oxymoron. Whatever their strengths, new ideas are not their stong point. Conservative ideology is the PROBLEM, not the "solution".

    The Reps remind my of someone whose only tool is a hammer: everything to them looks like a nail. Their only solution to any economic issue is cut taxes. Taxes have been at their lowest since the advent of the income tax for the last 8 years and it's brought us nothing but recession (nay, depression?) and an increase in the gap between the top 5% and the bottom 95%. It's literally a bankrupt ideology.

    December 3, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Liberal in Los Angeles, CA

    He should have given his two cents years ago!!!!

    December 3, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. Enough

    Isn't his recommendation the same plan as George Bush's???

    December 3, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  4. Dave in Atlanta

    Forget Sarah Palin. This is the man who should be running for president in 2012.

    December 3, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Georgia Gal

    You know we can't allow these bailouts to get too out of hand, but some of these companies need to have help from the government, because if they go under then the financial well being of this country will just get worse and worse than it already is. It really irritates when people like this say "ah, just let them go bankrupt." Bankruptcy especially when you're talking about the auto makers is not an option.

    December 3, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. lovable liberal

    Fortunately, Barack Obama is much too smart to listen to these do-nothing Republicans. He knows that government stimulus is required to avert a deep and long recession.

    December 3, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Al Ram

    President Obama please don't listen to Mr. Sanford. With this economy and after 8 years of republican presidency and what they did to the American people we should not listen to them. We are Democrats!!!

    December 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. HH

    When will you libs learn that 8 years does not make or break an economy. I'm not saying that there weren't failed policies, because it's evident there were. However, the Clinton Administration bears much of this burden as well. It is not a birth right to own a home. It is a privilege earned through hard work, earning and saving. The seed for today's economic slump was planted in the 90s when it was decided that everyone should own a home and the sub-prime lending market reared its ugly head.

    As for Gov. Sanford, he's a smart down-to-earth conservative with good ideas. You may not agree with his ideology, but as a Governor of a State of the Union, he has a right to express his concerns and opinions to the President-elect. Remember, the US is still a representative democracy in which the states themselves are meant to retain most of the power.

    December 3, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. deb in Colo

    The Republicans have had their shot at the economy. Time to shut-up and stand aside!!!

    December 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. jbs

    "...moral hazard..."

    This from a guy who just resigned from a bigoted country club...

    December 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. Reality

    Yes, there is a problem with using public funds to support private institutions that drove themselves into the ground. A huge problem. It all boils down to influence and corruption in Washington.

    "Foreign" auto manufactures build cars right here in America and pay American workers equal or better salaries than their union counterparts. Even with union salaries, it is not impossible to build a profitable car.

    Toyota has a "no layoff" policy and is literally paying Americans not to work at the same time as Ford is asking Americans for another payout. Remember, the big 3 got 25 billion earlier this year. "Foreign" auto manufacturers are INCREASING jobs in the US, while domestic auto manufacturers are offshoring to India, South Korea, and Mexico.

    And the dems want to give these people another 50 or so billion taxpayer dollars. This little farce of a vetting process is laughable. Carpooling and $1 salaries for CEOs? Please. CEO salaries come from bonuses, most publicly traded company heads have less than 100K "salary" but take home millions. The dems already decided to give them the money. According the Pelosi bankruptcy isn't even on the table.

    December 3, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Ian

    I agree with cutting taxes and eliminating government spending. Think about how much more money we'd all have if there wasn't an income tax. There wouldn't be a need to bail out main street.

    December 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Peter (CA)

    Sanford is just a mouthpiece for the right wingers like him. Since BMW is in South Carolina, he may not be so impartial.

    Ken in Dallas @ 3:16--Right again. This is not about a company like Enron collapsing on itself. This collapse would reverberate around the country.

    December 3, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Alex

    CD from CO – I agree with your points on unions (to some extent), especially about the unions being willing to cut off their noses to spite their face. However, you say "They would have to pay it back". If we give them money now, and then decide to stop next month or next June or whenever, they will still go bankrupt. It is pretty hard for a bankrupt company to pay anything back.

    If we are going to give them a loan, why not let them file for bankruptcy and then provide the Debtor in Possession (DIP) financing? At least then we (the public) are first in line to get paid back, and the unions will have to renegotiate a much more reasonable deal.

    December 3, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Unshrub

    Let me get this right: didn't they loose. So why are they acting like they know how to fix anything? They only know how to break it.

    December 3, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. bernj II

    I read these posts everyday because I always get a good laugh when people who have no idea what they are talking about try to show wisdom.
    P1tey1, Godluvr, Dave in NY
    You guys crack me up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. John Rico

    Is he against bailing out states though? No? Handout for me good. Handout for anyone else BADDDDDDDD.

    December 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Grog in Ohio

    Am I the only one wondering if Governor Sanford wrote to President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson to NOT bail out Wall Street? Oh wait... Wall Street leans Republican.

    Never mind...

    48 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    December 3, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Jim Colorado

    Some one remind the governor that his partys failed policys is what has got us into this mess. Maybe he should be part of the unemployed wondering where he may sleep tonight or if there may be a meal on tonights table.

    December 3, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Matt

    After they all got on board to help the financial sector (i.e., to save all their own investments) the issue of whether to bailout the Big 3 will now be GOP's first chance to try to draw a line in the sand and put up a pretend fight against "socialism" by trying to filibuster it (now that the racist Chambliss got elected). It's fairly predictable. One of their core principles is hypocrisy.

    December 3, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. David

    Why would Obama go with a Conservative solution? McCain and Bush were the Conservatives, and the people rejected that. They elected a liberal. So Obama should listen to the people and do what he told the people he would do.

    December 3, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Keith

    What nerve! I think the voters spoke rather loudly that they were tired of these so-called conservative approaches to economic mismanagement that have about bankrupted the nation! Sheesh. Go figure!

    December 3, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Karl in SC

    Godluvr:
    It's clear that you're a UAW stooge. Have you ever traveled to South Carolina?What racism do you refer/ "Midnight sneaky Laws?" There is a Big Three, but only one GM. And how was Gov. Palin a digrace to the Republican party when the Democrats have Barney Frank's BOYFREIND operating a MALE ESCORT service out of Frank's basement?

    When you can answer these questions, you can comment on world events.

    December 3, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. no bailouts

    they got too big for their breches, oh i mean cars.

    December 3, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Matt

    @ Danny, OH

    Where was he? Drinking GOP koolaid and mindlessly supporting the neocon agenda no doubt. They thought they were invincible. Now that they've been shot down, they're scrambling for a toehold and GA just gave them one last night. Even if Franken ends up winning, we'll have to find 1 reasonable Republican to prevent them from trying to filibuster EVERYTHING so they can say "see? the Dems got nothing done!"

    December 3, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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