December 16th, 2008
12:42 PM ET
9 years ago

Bush 'considering all options' to aid U.S. automakers

CNN's Candy Crowley interviewed President Bush Tuesday.

CNN's Candy Crowley interviewed President Bush Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President George W. Bush Tuesday said he is "considering all options" when it comes to aiding the U.S. auto industry because doing nothing could lead to further economic decline.

Watch: Bush on auto industry help

"A disorganized bankruptcy could create enormous economic difficulties, further economic difficulties," President Bush said in an interview with CNN's Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is a not a huge economic crisis. Look we're in a crisis now. We're in a huge recession, but I don't want to make it even worse.

"But on the other hand, I'm mindful of not putting good money after bad, so we're working through some options," he said.

"What you don't want to do is spend a lot of taxpayers' money and then have the same old stuff happen again, and again and again," he added.

Bush said there was no one person or event to blame for the recent woes in the U.S. economy and said of the housing and financial markets "the whole system became inebriated."

"I'm not really happy about the fact there have been excesses in the financial markets which are affecting hard working people and affecting their retirement accounts. Having said that, I'm very confident that with time the economy will come out and grow and people's wealth will return."

Bush was asked about the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at him during a press conference in Baghdad over the weekend. The president said the journalist was "looking for notoriety" and authorities shouldn't "overact" in their treatment of him, saying, "I didn't have much time to reflect on anything, I was ducking and dodging.

"First of all, it's got to be one of the most weird moments of my presidency," he said. "Here I am getting ready to answer questions from a free press in a Democratic Iraq and a guy stands up and throws his shoe. And it was bizarre and it was an interesting way for a person to express himself."

Bush added, "I'm not angry with the system. I believe that a free society is emerging, and a free society is necessary for our own security and peace."

On Iraq, Bush said the decision to go to war was by the far the most difficult one he made in the Oval Office. He also said he "listened to a lot of people" even some in his administration who told him the war was not "working."

"I listened very carefully to them," Bush said. "I came to a different conclusion."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (115 Responses)
  1. Kevin in Ohio

    Wow.... Bush is actually agreeing with our inept democrat liberal congress, and all I see is more hate from the left.

    December 16, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  2. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    An Obama Supporter December 16th, 2008 12:50 pm ET

    It's unfortunate that Bush's desoite to "not put good money after bad" wasn't the case when $100 billion dollars were wasted in the so called Iraqi reconstruction, and the corruption in awarding no bid contracts to his "friends" and in not overseeing the trillions handed to the banks who were largely responsible for this mess.
    Correction: It wasn't $100 billion. It was half a Trillion. Otherwise, I aggree.

    December 16, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. rooty, sc

    At least there will be one aspect of our economy that won't suffer through all of this because no matter which way this whole bail-out/loan situation ends, plenty of Americans will be buying medications – headache, high blood pressure, anti-anxieties, and all sorts of mental health meds!

    December 16, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Susan in Sunnyvale, CA

    Seems to me he's stalling–waiting for the best offer. He'd like to get the other half of the TARP billions intot he hands of his friends before Jan 20th.

    December 16, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. NuDeal

    I did not appreciate the reporter throwing a shoe at our President. I am not a Bush supporter but I do have my limits to what you can do to our leaders. So to the reporter:

    If I were there when it happened it would be like:Afterschool,2:00 behind the cafeteria......

    December 16, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Peter (CA)

    Wow, he just does not get it does he? Reminds me of the pciture of him flying over New Orleans looking out the window.

    CNN.......can you update your moderation policy? It seems you do not post thoughtful comments yet post rants like the one by "once you vote". Want to give us all an idea what is going on?

    December 16, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Jackie in Dallas

    "What you don't want to do is spend a lot of taxpayers' money and then have the same old stuff happen again, and again and again." Hmm. Like the $700 billion you gave without regulations or strings to the financial world so your buddies could give themselves a billion dollar golden parachute after ruining their companies? Face it, Bush, your whole reign of terror has been the same old stuff again, and again, and again....

    December 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Is Bush drunk because his comments sure sound like he's been hitting the bottle.

    December 16, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |

    Don't do it Bush. Don't do it. Just think, all this money they charged us for these autos made of nothing but plastic, where did the money go. To the (CEO's)?

    December 16, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. karen

    Let's bail out the taxpayers!!!!

    December 16, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Ken in Dallas

    Bush is absolutely feckless. He has no capacity to comprehend his responsibility for all this chaos. The biggest part of the cause of the economic meltdown is that Bush exhorted Americans to spend beyond their means, for the purpose of hiding the economic impact of his overseas adventurism.

    There must be a balance between supply and demand, and, thus, between prices and wages. Balance sheets barely matter to the consumer economy, but disposable income rules. By talking Americans into spending beyond their means, Bush exhausted the source of disposable income, and when there was nobody left to pay the piper, the music suddenly died.

    "Broke" and "despised" are the Bush legacy.

    December 16, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. karen-phoenix

    Help the auto industry!!! NOW!!!! Bush has NO concept of what it is like to be an "average" work American and what he has done to this country!!! He grew up and lives in an "Ivory Tower"!!!

    December 16, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm not one for big bailouts – they haven't done anyone but the execs on Wall Street any good so far. However, I'm not sure our economy can withstand the loss of all the auto workers and those in all the industries that feed it, at this precarious point in time.

    @ Once You Vote Black – goodness gracious, I hope you're just spouting off this stuff for the sake of robust argument, and aren't so misinformed as to actually believe it. That would be just sad.

    December 16, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. JP

    The bailout as proposed is for greedy UAW members. Rip up the union contract and I will support helping the big three. They will never be viable long term with will the UAW unwilling to do its part.

    December 16, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. JLB

    We let the Wall Street Big Wigs get billions with no strings attached and from everything I've read they are hoarding it, but when it comes to the Auto Industry it's a different story, Could it be because it would help the blue collar workers, who happen to be the backbone of this country? I'm sure that all the states where we have the Toyota, Nissan, Honda etc. plants were all given plenty of incentives to build there and where do you think that money came from?? It was from the American tax payers. We can help them out ,but not our own companies. Something is wrong here. If the Auto Industry goes under and thousands lose their jobs, who do you think will be paying for their unemployment?? I rather help get them back on their feet than for thousands to lose their jobs and our tax dollars will still be paying in the form of unemployemnt. I have no connection to the Auto Industry and never have, but it is common sense to help them when we've already helped the foreign auto companies establish here in American with our tax dollars. Wake up America.

    December 16, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. deb in Colo

    He's hoping if he stalls long enough it won't be his problem anymore.

    December 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. Pete

    I'm tired of the bantering over the car companies. Banks received wads of cash through TARP to help back their smoke and mirrors based securities. Worse yet, it was all given with no questions asked and no mention of holding anyone accountable. Even now, they are using the TARP cash to pay dividends, payout executive bonuses, finance junkets for executives and fund shady deals and mergers with other banks so that they can consolidate and further manipulate the market. All the while they keep poor-mouthing how the greedy consumers duped them into making risky loans that they didn't want to. BS!

    The carmakers aren't saints by anyone's account, but Ford is holding it's own and Chrysler got a bad deal from Daimler. Either way, Ford and Chrysler have already replaced their leadership and are already in the midst of restructuring. If anyone of the three doesn't have an excuse, it's GM. They pushed their Suburbans and Hummers to the bitter end and they were in the best financial shape coming into 2008.

    Either way, it doesn't seem fair that greedy, dishonest bankers that caused the whole mess in the first place get $700B Xmas present with no strings attached and millions of auto workers get a swift kick in the butt.

    December 16, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. Joe in Austin

    "I came to a different conclusion."

    Obstinate to the last. And some people think this is leadership. Pathetic.

    December 16, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. Inconceivable

    And Obama was born...unless what they've been saying about him is true...

    December 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Phil

    Once you vote Black-Based on how poor your grammar and spelling are, I'm guessing the Hillbilly you mentioned is you:

    "who was not even born"/"is not even a citizen"-Aside from the fact that his birth certificate has been made public, what a horribly written sentence.
    Hillbilly=hillbilly (not a proper noun, doesn't need to be capitalized)

    It's idiots like you that gave us W in the first place. Please tell me you won't vote again, EVER!!!

    December 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. TyWebb

    All options? Like resigning before inauguration day?

    December 16, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  22. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    How about the option of keeping government the hell out of the auto business?

    Chapter 11 exists for a reason–and it's exactly the right thing for the car companies.

    December 16, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Sue

    If the option chosen is 'do nothing and let them go bankrupt', you can kiss three million US jobs goodbye.

    For starters.

    December 16, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. obama-mama

    Is he serious….I think he was inebriated. No one person or even to blame for the recent woes in the economy. He also says,

    "I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is a not a huge economic crisis. Look we're in a crisis now. We're in a huge recession, but I don't want to make it even worse.

    I don't care if he said he has been sober but I'm telling you he's been drunk for the past 8 yrs…..

    December 16, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. obama-mama

    I wish I had Candy Crowley's cell number. I would call her and tell her to crack that clown with the heel of her shoe.

    December 16, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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