December 16th, 2008
12:42 PM ET
10 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. Buckeye

    Here's a message for the shoe-dodging Prez from ground zero (GM plant in Lordstown, OH) of this economic terrorism: release our funds to save our community and the American auto industry. Pronto. Or do you wish to join those 35 treasonous Senators who voted for the collapse of the American auto industry and loss of 3 million American jobs?

    December 16, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Godluvr

    Mr. President,
    Please help the automakers before another shoe hits the fan. Thank you sir.

    December 16, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!



    December 16, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Simon

    I feel that he is right there is no one person to blame as the trouble with the economy was a result of many banks lending money to people that couldn't pay the money back and although it could be argued that Bush gave the banks the freedom to do this, it was in the end down to the collective decision making of the bank to lend to those people

    December 16, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Get over it

    All options huh???

    How about letting them file Chapter 11 !!!!!!!!!!

    Let them get reorganized and then give them a loan. Otherwise we will be down this road again in a few years. Just look at Chrysler, how many years ago were they bailed out and here that are again.

    Chapter 11 and reorganize is the only valid option.

    December 16, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. bsmith171

    the reporter looks like a rather large man.

    December 16, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. Ken in Dallas

    Bush isn't drunk, he's simply heartless. His presidency has been of the cruelest times in American history.

    We are to blame.

    December 16, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. Matt

    Ask yourselves this: how did Bush get so good at dodging shoes? That's right. He must've had practice. My guess is, based on his performance and apparent intellect, he learned the hard way that when a shoe comes at your head, you duck.

    December 16, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. Matt

    @ Henry MIller, Cary, NC

    I think what you meant to say is that bankruptcy is the "right thing for the AMERICAN auto companies THAT EMPLOY UNION LABOR." Isn't that right Mr. Right-To-Work State with your FOREIGN auto-makers? Yeah, country first my shiny white Irish butt.

    December 16, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Krystal

    Well, it's all good and well to bail out the auto makers... but here's the catch: #1- people can't get financed to buy new cars even if they wanted them, and #2- people are starting to wake-up and realize that it doesn't pay to "keep up with the Jones's" so they are trying to do the smart thing and SAVE instead of buy...
    So go ahead and bail out whomever you fancy, the American people are getting tired of financing their lives on their $12.00 an hour jobs!!!!!

    December 16, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Liberal and Proud of It

    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."

    Henry, we don't care about car companies. You are missing the point. We care about jobs, salaries, health care, foreclosures, and economic stability. The whole point to having corporations is to provide those things to American workers. If all we cared about was our lackwit CEOs, no one would be thinking about a bailout.

    Also, everybody in the finance industry has placed the blame on government for the housing mortgage crisis. "Too little regulation," they say. Of course, these were the same less-than-gifted businessmen who argued that "free market" principles and "self regulation" would not allow any of this to happen.

    This is a discretionary recession. America's business leaders chose to have it. Now we have to clearn up the mess, as usual.

    December 16, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. steve r. from Wash st.

    I'm sure it will be another bailout WITHOUT REGULATION. RIPOFF!!!!!

    December 16, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. pam Eugene OR

    I am enjoying watching Bush trying to rewrite history. This last minute campaign of his to try to make himself look better than the dreadful President he was is a joke. He is even trying to get us to feel good about his snarly dog Barney.
    Just so you know George, it is not going to work. No matter what you do in your last month in office you will never change the history you created. You will be remembered as the lying, deceitful manipulator you are. Most of the American people are ashamed of you.
    You have done nothing to help solve the huge financial meltdown. I am sure history will show that you caused most of it with your illegal war and all your other failed policies.
    January 20, 2009 can't come soon enough. Bush has left America in an unforgivable mess for the next President to fix.
    Thank God we elected a smart guy this time.

    December 16, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Marc

    Henry Miller, Cary, NC – Yes Chapter 11 exist for a reason, but have you just stopped a moment to think about how it would affect millions of Americans if it's used on this case? I am talking about the two digit percentage of unemployed people with all the predictable consequences.
    Once you vote Black – Learn how to spell before throwing all your prejudiced views on us...

    December 16, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    You know guys. I did not like all the things that Bush did in his 8 years of being president and I didn't vote for Obama either. However, All the Obama supporters want people to unite and give Obama a chance considering he is not even sworn in yet. I'm willing to give him a chance and see what he can do. He is going to be our President and for that I will stand behind him because I'm American and believe in this country. But, The flaming of Bush is completely disrespectful. I know alot of people are very angry with his decisions, but none the less, he is still our President until January 20, 2009 and as the President of the United States lets show at least a little respect for the office that he is about to turn over to Obama. If we can give Obama a chance, let's have a little respect for Bush

    December 16, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Phoenix

    Once you vote black, you never go back. I don't know how to take your comment, but I frankly take it with humor. President Bush does not want to leave his legacy entirely negative, thus he agrees to the Iraq pullout, and now he will aid the auto industry. Watch.

    Aaron from Ohio, I find your comment interesting. The only thing I disagree with is Socialism. Do you guys understand what Socialism is? Capitalism does not denote a total absense of government help.

    December 16, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    HEY obama-mama,





    OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!

    December 16, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. nom deplume

    Hey, it won't be my money on the line. It is going to the Carribean along with the rest of the "rich" american's money.

    Truth be told, I dont have savings to hide away in the carribean, but Obama says I am rich, so it must be there somewhere.

    Now, where's my bailout? And if I am so "rich" where's my yacht?

    December 16, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Stay the course, W, and keep looking at all options until, oh, about January 20 at noon.

    December 16, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Nola

    Maybe if the shoe had hit him he would be able to make a decision that would benefit all of Americans. Allowing the auto companies to go under will cause the lost of 3M jobs, 3M homes into foreclosure, and no money to pay unemployment . Japan is pleading with Bush to lend the money – because if the Big 3 autos goes under so will Honda and Toyota. Oh what a mess this man has caused

    December 16, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Marie in California

    If the American automakers go down, so will the economy......and the country.

    December 16, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Tom

    Bush's response to the auto mess is like his response to Katrina–too little, too late, and wrapped in red tape. Its sole purpose appears to be to tide the big 3 over until Jan 20 when he can get out of town and dump everything on Obama.

    December 16, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Once You Vote Black

    Thanks Phil but I think it should read "Based on how poor your grammer and spelling is". In any event, my point was that, well I forgot what my point was, but Bush stinks.

    December 16, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  24. Duckula

    My god I hope he doesn't mean "bombing them" is still on the table. Last time I heard "all options are on the table" we quickly destroyed some country's infrastructure.

    December 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. Brad - California

    Bush actually has the intelligence to "consider" anything? I'm just wondering if there is anything else that he can screw up with before he is finally gone.

    "Good money after bad..." What's up? He sure did it with the investment banks, and they are the source of the problem!

    December 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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