Obama heralds auto comeback in weekly address
June 4th, 2011
12:27 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama heralds auto comeback in weekly address

(CNN)-President Barack Obama delivered the weekly address Saturday from a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, where he championed the "turnaround" of the auto industry.

"Today, each of the Big Three automakers-Chrysler, GM, and Ford-is turning a profit for the first time since 2004," he said. "Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes American taxpayers for their support during my presidency-and repaid that money six years ahead of schedule."

Obama confirmed that Chrysler would soon return to private ownership saying, "We reached a deal to sell our remaining stake."

The president continued to praise automakers for "adding shifts and creating jobs at the strongest rate since the 1990s" and reflected on the state of the industry at the beginning of his administration.

"When I took office we were facing the worst recession since the Great Depression-a recession that hit our auto industry particularly hard," he said.

Choosing then to go against "what a lot of folks in Washington thought we should do-nothing," the president said he also "decided to help [the American auto industry] retool for a new age."

That effort supported his oft-repeated pledge to make sure America can "out-build, out-innovate, and out-compete the rest of the world."

But in the GOP weekly address, second-term Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander countered Obama's praise of the American auto industry by promoting the success of foreign automakers who have built manufacturing plants in the United States.

"In 1980 Nissan chose Tennessee, a state with almost no auto jobs [as the location for their first U.S. manufacturing plant]. Today, auto assembly plants and suppliers provide one-third of Tennessee's manufacturing jobs," Alexander said.

And while Obama went on to acknowledge "bumps on the road to recovery" like rising gas prices, the earthquake in Japan and unease about Europe's economy, the president also encouraged a spirit of resiliency saying, "We're a people who don't give up - who do big things, who shape our own destiny."

"I'm absolutely confident that if we hold on to that spirit, our best days are still ahead of us."

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Auto-comeback....??

    Buy a car 0%-down...0%-financing...and 0-payment for 90days....A real comeback without money transaction...???
    and we get the real truth....!!

    June 4, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. tim lewis

    Obama keeps telling us how bad the economy was when he got it. A fact he fails to mention (and the media), is the economy is worse now, than when he took office. I feel his policy's have made things worse.

    June 4, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. kakaraka

    Something is wrong with the GOP. They are sick in this mf party. They fabricate things nonsensely and totally out of touch with the reality. Mr President, the majority of the American people is on your side. Do what's right even if it's difficult. Obama forever.

    June 4, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. bill

    What planet is this guy from?

    June 4, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Obama saved jobs, Republicans gave Americans a "snow job" by giving tax breaks and telling Americans they would create jobs, baloney. Wakeup people otherwise Republicans will continue to give you a "snow job" just like they're trying to do with Ryan's medicare plan which is no more than a "snow job" which they themselves can't explain why it isn't.

    June 4, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. Steve1959

    "Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes American taxpayers..." If you ever needed proof that politicians lie, there you go. Even according to Obama's own Car Czar, the American taxpayer lost 1.4 billion on the deal. Who knows, maybe it all went to Obama's reelection campaign. Wouldn't be the first money from nowhere to show up in Obama cofffers.

    June 4, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  7. kat

    What a clown, this guy must have been dropped on his head at birth.

    June 4, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    "I'm absolutely confident that if we hold on to that spirit, our best days are still ahead of us."
    ------------------
    Yes, sir. Mr. President, sir.

    June 4, 2011 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. wiredWeirdinSF

    He sure propped up those incompetent, lazy, over paid union workers. Of course the rest of us are and will continue to pay for it. What an incompetent, inept, sleazy union toady the liberal democrats put in place.

    June 4, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. The POTUS is Obama

    Obama has brought back America from the brink of financial destruction. The GOP be knows that but the their failed messages to resonate that the economy has failed is not working because they do not have proof so they the GOP House of Reps are blocking bills to keep America from going forward to keep Obama from winning a second term.
    America sees the GOP plans to bring about peril to the American way of life. GOP + Ryan Budget = Seniors, Middle working class, and the poor working class lose their medicare that they've work so hard for.

    June 4, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. PALINHOPE

    If this is so Obama then why are you still insisting the debt ceiling to rize. Did this money go to pay off some of our national debt? Or is this some of the money you spent hip hopping around Europe week before last? Have'nt you had enough good time to just fade away? You're a cancer that is killing America.

    June 4, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Dean

    When I took office we were facing the worst recession since the Great Depression-a recession that hit our auto industry particularly hard," he said.

    And he has done everything to make sure our economy is destroyed.

    June 4, 2011 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America!

    This will drive the GOBPbaggers nuts, because it proves that the right kind of government spending actually works.

    June 4, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. D.

    We need to be reminded of the success of the auto bail out because if the president had not stepped up to the plate unemployment would be worse and for sure we would have more foreclosures. If the President had not done anything, some would say that he failed to lead and did not care about American. He does care about each of us and he is leading the country in the right direction although some dol not agree.

    The President knows that many Americans are living pay check to pay check and any interruption to their income can send a family into a downward spiral. He is a thoughtful President as well a caring individual, parent, and husband.

    The President did the only thing he could do to protect the auto industry and Americans. It shows he cares about people and this great country. Put yourself in his shoes.....does any American think that the auto industry should have not been helped. He did the right thing and deserves recognition for it. If the president had not taken any action and the economy was worse off than it is today he would certainly get the blame.

    Hopefully we can stop this fighting, distrust, and hateful innuendos.

    Good Job Mr. President, keep multitasking and moving forward !!!

    June 4, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. mj

    Why shouldn't he jump up and down ... He has a job (temporarily). What does Ford have to do with this fanfare? They made it on their own. I'm sure the other 2 would have been just fine without intervention. He is all for Big Government Control and zero support for the Private Sector.

    June 4, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    54,000 new jobs last month. Half of which were from McDonalds.

    Obama inherited a weak economy, and made it even worse.

    June 4, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  17. krehator

    Lost count of how many GOP members said they would never recover........

    June 4, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |