(CNN) - As Mitt Romney gets ready to face union protests Friday over his opposition to the 2008-2009 bailouts of the auto industry, two new polls are somewhat at odds over where Americans stand on the issue.
According to a Gallup poll released Wednesday, 51% of Americans say they disapprove of the financial bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler, which at the time were in danger of failing. Forty-four percent say they approve of the government's action. The survey indicates a partisan divide, with more than six in ten Democrats supporting the bailouts, nearly three-quarters of Republicans opposing them, and independent voters divided, with 45% approving and 50% saying they disapprove of the bailouts.
(CNN) - The auto industry bailout shouldn't be a topic of discussion at Wednesday's presidential debate, Republican Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said on Wednesday.
"I think the bailout is being overblown in our state as a key topic in this debate," Snyder said on CNN's "American Newsroom". "Because if you look at it, we have gone through difficult times the last decade, and we are making a strong cameback."
(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."
Washington (CNNMoney) -- President Obama touted the recovery of the Big Three automakers in a speech at a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, on Friday, saying it couldn't have happened without his 2009 bailouts.
At a Chrysler plant that makes Jeep Wranglers, the president talked about the jobs saved in Toledo, as an example of the broader economic recovery.
"Each day, when you clock in, you're doing more than earning your pay, you're standing up for this company. . . and showing the world that American manufacturing
New York (CNNMoney) - A Congressional oversight panel says that a "starkly improved" outlook for the auto industry has reduced the likely taxpayer loss on the bailout by more than half to about $19 billion.
The previous estimate from the panel was that taxpayers would lose $40 billion of the $81.3 billion given to the automakers and their finance arms from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
Chicago, Illinois (CNN) – President Obama will display his administration's high hopes for the U.S. auto industry when he visits a Ford plant in Chicago on Thursday.
Ford is the only major U.S. automaker that didn't take a government bailout. Later this year, its Chicago assembly plant will begin production of a new, fuel efficient 2011 Ford Explorer.
The company recently announced that the Chicago plant is adding 1,200 new jobs. The positions were made possible by the new Department of Energy loans aimed at helping companies retool their plants to make more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The Obama administration said Wednesday it believes the recovery of the U.S. auto industry can be sustained and has the potential to grow.
President Obama speaks at a Chrysler plant in Detroit, Michigan on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/AFP)
Detroit, Michigan (CNN) - President Barack Obama, speaking at a Chrysler plant here Friday, praised the recovery of the embattled U.S. auto industry and celebrated the tough choices he says made a comeback possible.
"Last year, many thought this industry would keep losing jobs, as it had for the better part of the past decade. Today, U.S. automakers have added more than 55,000 jobs since last June," said Obama.
He said both Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Corp. have rebounded from the depths of their government-brokered bankruptcies and are back on track to grow.
"In the midst of a deep recession and financial crisis, the collapse of the auto industry would have caused enormous damage to our economy," Obama told an enthusiastic crowd of auto workers.
"So we intervened for one simple and compelling reason: your survival and the success of our economy depended on it."
The president added that his "belief was that if GM retooled and reinvented itself for the 21st century, it would be good for American workers, good for American manufacturing, and good for America's economy. I'm pleased to report that's exactly what's begun to happen at this plant and at others. And I'll tell you what: I will double down on the American people and all of you any day of the week."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama Administration Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to drop the stay which temporarily halted the sale of Chrysler, arguing Fiat alter the deal or walk away if it isn't approved by next week.
"If the sale is not consummated by June 15, there is a substantial possibility that Fiat will abandon the transaction or insist on materially different terms as a condition of its participation," Justice Department lawyers said in a brief filed with the Justices.
"It is also undisputed that Chrysler's condition worsens each day it remains in bankruptcy and that Fiat is aware of that situation," the government said.
"While Chrysler remains in bankruptcy with no confirmed alternative to liquidation, its situation deteriorates," the government argued.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg granted a stay to opponents of the sale who stand to suffer major investment losses if the transaction with Fiat is approved.
(CNN) – A trio of mayors whose cities have been hit hard by the troubles of General Motors said Sunday that they were happy the federal government had intervened. But they also faulted politicians in Washington for the partisan bickering over supporting the struggling auto industry.
“Well, certainly somebody had to do something,” Mayor Michael Brown of Flint, Michigan told CNN’s John King.
“This isn’t just about the auto industry,” added Brown, “the credit markets dried up. We’ve got a housing industry in crisis and certainly the federal government had to do something here ... Obviously, we want GM to be running their own business as we go forward but I think there was no alternative at this point in time as far as I’m concerned.”
Wilmington, Delaware Mayor James Baker agreed with Brown but took issue with the constant fighting in Washington over helping the auto industry.
“What we’re seeing is just a stack of cards or a domino effect where things have just gone awry,” Baker said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “And we’re all suffering, we’re all trying to deal with loss of revenues. I mean, it was just like our revenues went off the cliff.”
“I know there’s people that don’t want to see the government involved,” Baker continued. “And you get the dumb argument down there in Washington about the conservatives and the liberals. Who needs it? We need the country working together on our problems.”
“I’ve got to agree with both my colleagues here,” Mayor Michael Dinwiddie of Spring Hill, Tennessee told King. “I don’t think this is a Republican issue or a Democrat issue . I think the worst thing that we could possibly do is turn this into a political battle. This is an American issue. . . . This is a nationwide issue. I think that we need to do everything possible to come together and solve these issues now.”
All three men run cities who have been adversely impacted by the closure or possible closure of GM manufacturing plants as the once-great auto giant restructures in bankruptcy with substantial assistance from the Obama administration.