December 15th, 2008
09:35 AM ET
12 years ago

Bush doesn't set auto bailout timeline

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Bush may use money from the Treasury program in hopes of avoiding the bankruptcy of U.S. automakers."]NEW YORK ( - President Bush said Monday he might use money from the Treasury program to aid financial services companies in order to avoid the bankruptcy of U.S. automakers, but he would not provide a timeline.

In an interview with reporters on Air Force One en route to Afghanistan, Bush said that "an abrupt bankruptcy for the autos could be devastating for the economy."

When asked if he would use any of the $700 billion from Treasury's Troubled Asset Recovery Program (TARP) that has been earmarked for Wall Street to make a loan to automakers, he replied, "I signaled that that's a possibility."

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Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Bill Charlotte,NC

    When you are on a world tour receiving accolades being "thrown" at you from all your admirers, why bother with something mundane like saving the automobile industry?

    December 15, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. obama-mama


    December 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. Rick

    Gotta love the Senate. They try for 2 days to craft a bailout and fail. So what do they do? Take yet another 3+ week vacation. If the private sector quit every time they didn't reach a solution in 2 days on a major problem, we wouldn't generate enough tax revenue to even pay the Senators salaries, let alone run the rest of the government. These people are really clueless to the real world – either that or they don't really consider this to be a big problem.

    December 15, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Damon

    Can I get a loan? I need a bail out. I have kids, bills and other expenses I can think of. The American people need help. All these homeless people and you can produce this kind of money for corporations. Than you wonder why the crime rate high. Ordinary people see what this country really care about. It is not the American people. This is practicality. All these homeless, jobless American citizens and you can produce 700 billion dollars to bail out Wall Street and you can't help the homeless and real proverty stricken people of this country. This is HIPOCRACY!

    December 15, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me


    Toyota and Honda receive money from their own respective government not to mention billions of $'s of tax abatements from our government as incentive to come.

    Toyota and Honda have already received their lifeline from us..

    Now go back to your job at Toyota and shove it.

    December 15, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. joe smith

    gw is doing the right thing; keep your cards covered, then take the pot: but, my memory recalls GM, Ford, and Chrysler stepping up with huge donations after 911..but stangely, toyota, honda, kia,etc. did not; not to sound nationalistic, but where's the payback..

    December 15, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Howie

    My fear is that it is too late to recover. I believe it is almost impossible to recover now. Look they are spending $75 million every day and are not selling cars. The public now doesn't believe they can survive. If I now had a need for a car it surely wouldn;t come from the big three. I want a car from someone who will be around a while if repairs are needed.

    December 15, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Biff

    The kid...

    you are both mis-informed 'and' dis-informed.

    the unions are NOT the cause of the auto industry's collapse. (psst.. they are the workers... NOT the leaders making the decisions)..

    the NY Times published a fact finding article SHOWING that there is parity among foreign and domestic auto workers. there is no $70 / hr.

    it is an outright propaganda lie.

    December 15, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. A Really Conservative Realist

    It should be unlawful to form unions.

    December 15, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. David Goldman




    December 15, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Tom in Delaware

    The Steel, Shipping, Airline, and Telecommunication Industries were allowed to experience the natural consequences of not being competative in a Global Market, so why shouldn't Detroit?

    All the 'Chicken Littles' came out of the woodwork screaming "The sky is falling!"...but we're all still here.

    BTW- any union that won't relinquish their workers being paid 90% when they're laid off deserves to be BROKEN by whatever powers that can smash it.

    December 15, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Don't look to Bush when it comes to saving anything, he's clueless.

    December 15, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Lisa M

    Tell you what Georgie,

    You write me the check and I will take care of the entire thing. Say $25,000 a piece. I can spend that in no time. Pay off some debt and help strenghthen the economy.



    December 15, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    He never set a time table for anything that did involve bombs and guns.

    December 15, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. larry

    I agree with the sentiment of those that say that say the industry brought most of this mess on themselves. That said, we simply cannot allow the most important element of our, rapidly DEMINISHING manufacturing base, cease to exist. As Bole Dole once said in his unsuccessful bid for the presidency against George H. W. Bush: "We just simply can't make it by delivering pizzas to each other".
    We have to make it viable, profitable and producing cars that the world AND Americans want to buy, if we don't we are in even bigger trouble than we are now.
    I do agree that both sides of the industry (management as well as the unions must make sacrifices....after all, it is THEIR jobs that they are asking us to save.

    December 15, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. obama-mama

    If Bush doesn't know what to do, why don't he just ask Obama and his team for some help….Don't let pride drive this country further into the bottomless pit. It's all about making this country great again…..It may even make Bush look human.

    December 15, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. The Sultan of Spinach

    Hooray for the GOP and American Conservatism. Once again, they have courageously prevented the nation from solving an important problem. Senate Republicans were able to block the auto industry bailout, and there was much back-slapping and hand-shaking among them. What solution did they think would be better than the proposed bailout? We don't know. They didn't propose anything. As soon as they prevented the problem from being solved, they felt that their work was done.

    I am ashamed of my own state's Republican senators (Cornyn and Hutchison). I have voted against those two in every election, but my fellow Texans are typically

    December 15, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Ken in NC

    While I am usually a supporter of the Union, when it comes to the survival of the Union vs the survival of the entire industry against transplanted compitition, I must say the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the Union. I admit that the Auto Industry has problems, many of which it brought on itself through many bad decisions but the companies are not totally responsible and if everyone else must take a "HAIR CUT" then the Union should be no exception.

    Many of you may not remember this but Nikita K. of the USSR banged his shoe on a table back in the 60's and screamed to then President John F. Kennedy that they would defeat the USA in time without ever firing a shot. Well it appears they and other countries are trying to make good on that threat. Give it up UAW. SOME OF SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN SOME OF NOTHING.

    December 15, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Irritated in Fl

    If the Republicans ever want to have any respect or power in Government again, they had better stop this man! The people have said NO MORE BAILOUTS! The south has been plagued with low wages and unemployment for so long but the minute a few northern companies start talking lay-offs we got national involvement. That's BS! Let them file bankruptsy and go jobless like the REST of the nation!!!!!

    December 15, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. D.C.

    I was willing to back Bush through Iraq but if he continues socializing our private sectors (not to mention ignoring the will of the people by circumventing Congress' decision not to bail out the Big 3), he'll have burned any lingering credibility he might have had in my mind.

    December 15, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Larry Houston, Texas

    sorry to disappoint y'all............But the truth is that Bush is going to let it all ride til the end of this and see what his strategy is..
    He's just going to "ride it out" & let OBAMA take care of it....He's doing this for a reason : he doesn't want the DOW to Plunge, that's the REAL REASON.....


    December 15, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Randolph

    I do believe that it is very damaging for the country when any ignorant, economically unskilled, and mostly unpatriotic person can go to any national spot and give his/her dangerous view about some very sensitive topics.
    I really feel sorry for the country when some auto-proclaimed economic analysts are promoting foreign cars against American car. I don’t know if I can call it stupidity.
    Every of us need to recall that any government in the world has the ultimate obligation to protect its citizen jobs.
    In this case, it is mostly about to protect the US car industry, American jobs, and of course America economy.
    However, I do believe that any bailout request has to:
    – Cost the CEO and at least half of executives their job.
    – Put the company under government supervision after a government audit for the last 10 years.
    It would stop any unnecessary bailout request

    December 15, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. FreeNLovIt

    Mr President Bush

    You were AWESOME!! I glad you were able to dodge those shoes, coming straight toward your face. For a moment, you were as good as Keanu Reeves in the Matrix. I'm glad you're safe. I do not approve of your policies, but I do admire you. You have a lot of GUTS.

    December 15, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. FreeNLovIt

    To Lisa..

    Yeah break the union just to find ourselves in the depression? That's so stupid!!

    December 15, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Joseph

    Set a timeline for what, so they can make the same mistakes all over again. Put the money where it is really needed, the hard working American people who made it possible for the Big wigs to have what they have. I think this has gone on long enough, except for the auto workers who are doing the sweating, the rest of them need to learn how to scuffle to stay a float. Only then will they learn how to better manage their monies.

    December 15, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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