December 16th, 2008
12:42 PM ET
11 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. ran

    How does he get out of this one? No more no-bide contracts available,hallaburton not available. How does he get out of this one?

    December 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Jerry

    Obama wanted the job; let HIM deal with the UAW mess!!!

    December 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  3. Patrick

    "Obama-mama" keep your negative rhetoric to yourself. You sound like a highschooler who just became aware of politics and all your friends think Obama is cool and that it's also cool to hate Bush so you get on message boards where intelligent people from both sides of the aisle try to have a conversation and you spout off the first thing that comes to your mind. Like President Bush or not this problem has been caused by both parties (pushing sub-prime mortgages from Clinton & credit default swaps from the Republicans); so quit your Bush bashing he's an honest man who has done what he thought was best for our country.

    December 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Jeff Kranz

    Let me set some facts straight! First of all the auto workers wages are
    about 28$ an hour!! This is not a bailout..this is a loan! The banking
    system got a hand out with no strings attached!! Toyota pays their
    workers 30-35$ an hour!! This is not the UAW's fault that GM didn't get
    the loan! This whole thing was a scam to brake the union! If GM
    doesn't get this loan the economy will take years to recover! And that
    means everyone will suffer! There will be a loss of taxes because of a
    loss of jobs..taxes will rise because of it! People don't realize how bad
    this can get..Are we going to have to rely on foreign cars along with
    foreign oil??? We need to tax the foreign vehicles like they tax us! We
    need to stop offering millions of dollars to foreign auto companies to
    build in our states! We need to take care of this Country first! Buy

    December 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  5. Larry in Houston, Texas

    It looks like from what I've been reading......Susan in Sunny Vale & Deb in Colorado / & Henry Miler knows what is really going on....

    Larry C.

    December 16, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Chuck

    Ask the oil companies with Billion dollar profits to help. They have been part of the problem with our dependence on oil since day one.

    December 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Bush shouldn't tease the country by saying the white house will help the auto industry and then do nothing! Either do it or not!

    December 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Willy Brown

    Let'em tank. US Automakers don't care, only the greedy unions do.

    December 16, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. An Obama Supporter

    Why can't CNN run an entire interview at one time rather than stretch it out with little snippets all day. Do they think their viewers' attention span is too short or that they are too stupid to digest its content and need their inane comments in order to understand??

    December 16, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  10. Mecrob

    lol: "I feel a sense of obligation to my successor to make sure there is a not a huge economic crisis."

    Is bush really stuipid enough to believe the words coming out of his own mouth? Come on... by the time he leaves office, things will be so much worse than they are now.

    the moron needs to stick one or both of those shoes down his throat and shut up.

    December 16, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Texas Teacher

    Well isn't that just sweet? Are we to think that Bush is stalling for nothing? 🙂

    He did not even bat an eye over bailing out the bankers... and even sneaking in a clause that insured they got their bonuses, etc...

    Do we forget so easily, People? I think NOT! Or at least I pray not!

    I'm not saying that I do not think twice about the bail out... it needs restrictions and regulation.. which is what the Banking bail out needed, but DID NOT get!

    December 16, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Lisa in Illinois

    Boy I really envy that Iraqi journalist!! We all should be able to throw our shoes at this guy! AND Cheney!!

    December 16, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Joe K.

    Look how small the President looks standing next to her!!!

    December 16, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  14. Rob Stumpf

    Bush did the right thing by not surrendering in Iraq, and his moronic detractors will have to someday explain why a free Iraq was not a goal worth fighting for. (Remember how even Barry H. Obama said the surge wouldn't work? He had to eat crow on that one).

    Few politicians would have had the courage Bush did, not Obama and definitely not the Clintons. There will come a time again when we value the sort of courage Bush brought to the White House, but until then we have to suffer though another New Deal and all the hare-brained liberal fantasies that go along with it. Free health care is my favorite. Ha ha. "Free"!

    Obama's term will only last four years...that's only about 1450 days. It seems like a long time, but time will fly when you're laughing at all the dumb things he'll do. The choice will be either to laugh or cry, so we might as well laugh.

    December 16, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Rob Stumpf

    I love how people are buying the lie that millions of jobs will be gone instantly if Bush doesn't cave into the Big 3. It's a scare tactic, having little basis in reality, but people are buying into it all the same. There is no scenario by which that would actually happen. Worst case is Chapter 11, in which the companies would keep running.

    And it's also great how Bush can't win. If he didn't bail out the companies, he would be mean and heartless. If he DOES bail them out (against the will of Congress!) then he's STILL in the wrong according to his critics. It's amazing. His best critics are the ones that can't spell their own names or get anything other than a menial job, but somehow know what's best for the American economy.

    December 16, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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