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. Get over it

    Let's see.

    1) $77 /hour UAW employees.
    2) having to pay UAW employees even if they refuse to work.
    3) paying healthcare for UAW employees that retired 10 years ago.
    4) CAFTA standards.

    No wonder they are not competative!!!!

    I say, let the Big 3 FAIL and file Chapter 11 so that they can undo this mess.

    December 3, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Pam

    So republicans create the problem and then "warn" Obama about fixing it?? Nice try.

    December 3, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. karen raleigh

    Why didnt this guy speak up in the last 8 years???Where was he??? Did he mention these ideas to his boss , Bush????

    December 3, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Matt

    Of course, the republicans hate unions because they can't stand workers having any power. Why do you think Bush and the Republicans have pretended to care about illegal immigration but done nothing realistic to solve it? Why of course...because they like all their big business buddies to make more money by hiring illegals.

    December 3, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Bob from NC

    Same old threadbare republican answers to new and more complex economic questions. Why is it almost every republican administration since Nixon has driven our economy into the ditch with these philosophies and then they turn right around and swear they have the answers.

    December 3, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    I am not a believer that every mis-managed business deserves free-money and or a bail-out. However, if you look at the last eight years and the lack of accountability that has taken place on the part of our government and the auto-industry; its time to grow up and start making the same sacriffices we americans are expected to make. Unless PE Obama can come up with a plan and a group of people that can be tursted (trust is a word that americans no longer believe in) to insure that the moany will be spent properly then maybe it is going to take Chapter eleven's for the auto-maklers to make them understand that we have had enought of our tax dollars being blown on CEO's and private jets. As a christian I think it is foolish to believe that Jesus gave us a blank check for an easy life in this case a bail-out. I do believe in PE Obama and he will and is trying to do the best he can to help get us out of this mess. What we really need to happen is PE Obama needs to be sworn in as President so he can get to work and begin the healing process that has to take place. By the time we get the Bush Administration out of office it will be too little to late.

    December 3, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Greed is not good

    What is with the Republican obsession with "free trade" with Columbia??
    How many Columbian lobbyists are working with the Republicans and why does McCain/Graham spend so much time there?

    December 3, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Gary

    Sanford better worry about South Carolina, we rank worst in every catagory. Education, crime, health. Do your job at home first

    December 3, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. C.T.

    I'm curious... Where was the Govenor's advice when GWB was driving in the wrong direction for the past 8 years. What's with these people that watched or steered this economy down the drain, and wanted no complaints, now they have all the answers. By the way, if the govenor's know so much ,why were they already seeking govt. monies for their states at this meeting? Go home and shutup. Hey Alaska, no big oil taxes this year....

    December 3, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Mari

    WOW............ did Sanford actually use the word "MORAL"?????? Where was Sanford when the Republican president launched an illegal....... immoral war on Iraq?

    Where was Sanford when AIG and other Wall Street rich were bailed out?

    But......... now that the auto workers will lose their jobs...... he doesn't want to help? Hypocrite.

    December 3, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  11. C.T.

    Silence Dogood, GWB will be making this decision on the car industry. Why don't you ask him.

    December 3, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. JD

    Gov. Sanford is obviously an economic lightweight. He hasn't the slightest idea what he is talking about. You don't take a bludgeon to spending and let core industries fail during a recession.

    December 3, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  13. creighton

    1 in 10 jobs tied to the Domestic Auto Industry. Is the Governor ready for a depression. That's millions of jobs lost, those people would be in need of some kind of social service. You can't just let them starve and go homeless. Sounds like he's just posturing for 2012. What a total empty suit this guy is, sure glad he's not in charge and in no position of influence over the national economy.

    December 3, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Some of you people have no memories or were not paying attention.
    Conservative Republicans were unhappy with Bush and his spending ways. I"m sure this guy said the same thing when Bush was president but Bush didn't listen.
    But he is misguided if he thinks Obama won't support bailouts. He already supports the auto bailout. Remember, the Democratic party relies on support from unions. The unions want to keep jobs so Obama will support bailouts.
    The people may say no to bailouts but you haven't heard Obama say that, have you?

    December 3, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Harvey

    No Bailouts in the private sector!
    And for those who think the republicans are to blame for everything, you have been brainwashed my friends. It all started years ago and it can all be traced to the NEW DEAL THE GREAT SOCIETY and a few other democratic failures at socialism.

    Carl Marx said, "Democracy is the beginning of socialism." We are supposed to be a Republic, but everyone is preaching democracy so let's see how far in the mud we can sink before we realize what's happened.

    December 3, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Arden

    AS a christian I don't recall Jesus giving us a blank check for an easy life. My grand-parents survived the depression, my parents survived the second world and we can survive this recession. Unless these people are being watched 24-7 with the money their asking for (which we won't do) then maybe chapter eleven's are going to have to teacch them that americans are tired of being ripped off. They have had eight years to take care of their mess. If they didn't do it then I don't see it happening now. As long as the employees that work for these auto companies get full unemployment benefits and they are allowed to take part of their retirement with them without being penalized then maybe the auto industry should really clean their house. I do believe in PE Obama. We need to swear him in so he can get to work instead of waiting for when its to little , to late.

    December 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. OBAMA GIRL

    shut up Mark! You make me disgusted to be a South Carolinian.

    December 3, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Spencer/NY to VA

    Thanks for the advice Mark, but if you want to lend your advice, try giving it to GWB while he's still in office. You must have not got the memo either, we will take republican suggestions, but we won't consider them. Save that conservative mumbo-jumbo for when Mr. 666 arrives.

    December 3, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Right, no bailouts...except for the S.C. tobacco industry. I hear its sales are down as people die off...

    December 3, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Willy Brown

    Obama was a tool used by Bill and Hillary Clinton to get them back into the W.H.

    December 3, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Nola

    Does the state of South Carolina have sufficient income to survine this down fall in our economy? The state of Kentucky is looking at a 4B deficit-the city of Louisville has two large Ford plants that will probably close if their is no bailout – What auto companies are in South Carolina?

    December 3, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  22. Pete Collins

    Obama really needs advice on the economy from Republicans. ROFLMAO Mark Sanford must be smoking some bad crack. The election is over, and you guys LOST. America has rejected your GOP financial playbook. You claim to be all about helping "Joe the plumber" but when "Joe the autoworker" who actually MAKES something - which America does far too little of - and works for a living and pays his taxes needs help, you're all against it. Republicans were eager to give the $10 billion bailout to Goldman Sachs, which immediately gave $6.5 billion in bonuses to their staffers. But to people who work for a living they say we should give nothing.

    December 3, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Vern in SC

    I have been reading alot of the post that the american people have been writing but i have a question for all of you. What if is was your company that needed a bailout to ensure that you still had a job, would you be against the bailout then. The millions of workers and suppliers that are connected to these business will suffer more than the people that ran the companies. No one wants to bailout them out for poor management, but they should be helped to save millions of families that may lose their jobs if help is not extended to these companies. Alot of people that have been on some of those jobs have been there for so many years, how would you retrain all of the older workers for up to date jobs now. There are so many other problems that will add to the nation crisis if these companies are not bailed out. This is a great nation in which we live in and with alot of sacrifice this country can recover and be the leader that is should be for the whole world. The question is what are we as a nation willing to do to help someone else other than just me, myself, and i, or us four and no more.

    December 3, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Karen - Missouri

    The Republicans got us into this whole mess! so what clout does this guy think he has? His warnings mean nothing. When an economy is in as bad a shape as ours is right now...the govt. has to spend money to get the economy rolling. Any Econ 101 student knows that. But then, it seems all the Republicans never took Economics in college or remembered it anyway.

    We BAILED out Wall Street....so there should be no question about giving the automakers a LOAN.

    It's going to be along time before most of us Americans listen to what a Republican thinks.

    December 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. sick n tired

    I love how all these Republicans are suddenly experts on how to fix things! Makes me laugh!

    December 3, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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