May 19th, 2009
05:58 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama drives a Ford hybrid - sort of

WASHINGTON (CNN) - It turns out President Obama puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to fuel-efficient automobiles.

At a Rose Garden event announcing a major deal that creates a new national fuel efficiency standard on Tuesday, the President decided to note what he has in the driveway back in the Windy City.

"By the way, I just want to mention, I think I still have my Ford parked in Chicago," the President said to laughter from the crowd, which included the chiefs of competing auto companies like General Motors, Chrysler and Toyota. "It's a Ford hybrid, it runs great, you guys should take a look."

He quickly covered his bases by adding: "But there are also some outstanding hybrids and energy-independent cars represented up here, so I didn't want to just advertise one."

The President's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, also advertised at his daily briefing Tuesday that he too drives a Ford Escape hybrid.

But unlike Gibbs, who drives his Ford to work, Obama of course doesn't get a chance to get behind the wheel anymore. "The Secret Service doesn't let him drive anymore, which I know he misses," Gibbs noted earlier this year.

It's a smart political move - to simultaneously tout the White House's ties to hybrids, and to American vehicles. Needless to say, Ford CEO Alan Mulally loves the high-level endorsements.

"We've been taking action to restructure ourselves for a number of years, and we also have been investing more in our products, so right now, many people say we have the best family of vehicles," a beaming Mulally told CNN in an interview at the White House.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. gngpp

    Screw Toyota. The biggest lemon I ever owned.

    May 19, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. willow

    Haha! I say let the secret service drive him around in his little hybrid instead of the big limos. Now THAT would make a statement!

    May 19, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. Steven in Charleston

    It's nice to finally have a President that at least ~attempts~ to practice what he preaches!

    May 19, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. annie for Palin

    The only thing you can say for bo's comments here is that is trying to snow Ford Motor Co. and all I can say is pleas Ford don't fall for it bo is just trying to take you over like he is every businesses! Don't shake hands with bo – run for your life!!

    May 19, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. No Incumbents 2010

    How do you save a struggling Auto Industry?

    More Regulations.

    May 19, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. bess

    Odd. In the interest of full disclosure Obama should have also mentioned that as recently as last year he owned a Chrysler 300C - a hemi-engined gas guzzling hog, and only gave it up under pressure as he himself was pressuring Detroit to build more fuel efficient vehicles.

    If he wanted real credibility as a 'green' person he'd have been driving fuel-efficient hybrids for many, many years. They've been around a long time.

    May 19, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  7. Judy

    Well why is not in DC then, he is so gun ho on mileage bring it to DC so they can drive him around in that instead of the Limo. Who gives him the right to say what we drive for the mileage Germany here we come dictatorship

    May 19, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Snapshot of today: President Obama talks about better fuel efficency for American made vehicles to try and help Americans. Republicans talk trash about the President of the United States. Oh, yea, that's everyday. The speech Steele gave today was totally nuts. What a bunch of losers. I really don't know who they think they are fooling. New ideas. Ha! The Party of NO has spoken.

    God bless you President Obama. Keep up the good work!

    May 19, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Liberal Democrats are Pathetic

    So, the President drives a car from the only auto company not receiving bailout money. Maybe he secretly has worked out a deal with Ford and they planned on the govt. taking over the competition and then having the govt. bankrupt after "bailing out" the competition, sort of like Chavez would do. Bush got it rolling and Obama is making it worse.

    May 19, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. Tc

    Gibbs is a terrible speaker umm.. umm... well uh ..I will check into that. He is a joke just . The President wastes more money and then wants the American people to suffer.

    May 19, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Had It

    Camry Hybrid here. 42 mpg on highway (use cruise control) and close to 40 in town (depending on how heavy traffic is).

    Wouldn't drive any other venicle.

    May 19, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. ib

    The only thing that Obama likes to travel in is AF1; boy what a small carbon footprint that one leaves. He is just like Gore; a Hyprocrite when it comes to this issue. Do as I say not as I do.

    May 19, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Frank in NJ

    A little quick to advertise that he has a hybrid... good PR though, nice work.

    May 19, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  14. Shirley In California

    I'm glad you are practicing what you preach on this issue. However, I am still offended over your interviewees for the supreme court. I will be watching you a lot closer from now on.

    May 19, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. bess

    yah, but as he was blasting away at Detroit candidate Obama drove a hemi-engined gas guzzling Chrysler 300C. too bad he didn't see the error of his ways sooner and purchased any one of the several hybrids that have been around years before the 300C.

    May 19, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  16. Alicia

    Good for him he finally traded in his luxury guzzler for a hybrid.

    May 19, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  17. Texan

    Sounds to me like Obama needs to put the Ford in Joe Biden's mouth these days! Joe, say it ain't so? Don't mess with Joe!

    May 19, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. Jill-IN

    We love our hybrid. Drove roundtrip to Columbus OH and back to Fort Wayne recently using only 6.5 gallons of gas – that is less than $14 for the trip. I drive more than 50 miles per day for work and usually only fill this car up 2x per month. Also own a Ford Explorer sport track and it is a beautiful vehicle – gets very good mileage also but do know that will only get better in the next few years.

    May 19, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Ray Fisher

    I'm holding out for a hydrogen fuel cell/Electric hybrid and there are already several models being produced just nobody has the guts to fight big oil and install fueling stations!!! Perhaps someday America will lead again, until then the EU is in charge. Between Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Germany and England hydrogen fuel cells will be here in a couple years. America may never lead in anything again!!!

    May 19, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. william dodge

    Thats why I voted for him ,now thats a leader
    Bill Dodge from florida

    May 19, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  21. Willy Brown

    #44 is fooling all you change and hopes whimps.

    May 19, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. Lee

    Yes, he drives a hybrid now. He got it during the election and until recently still had his 300M which is a total gas guzzler. Can he at leasty try to be honest!

    May 19, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  23. Holy cow

    Mr Obama on your bike.

    May 19, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. m smith

    Of course he drives a hybred . I applaud his ideas on fuel effecent cars. Have you noticed the price of gas is creeping back up.?

    May 19, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  25. Perusing-through

    Not to belabor the past, but how many gas guzzling vehicles do John McCain have? . . . 9? . . . 13?

    Believe me, I am not slighting McCain for his wealth, but it would be nice to know that he and the GOP were engaged on this matter of importance. Where is the Party of NO on these critical issues?

    May 19, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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