Analysis: Obama sees 'load of you know what' from GOP
February 28th, 2012
04:04 PM ET
10 years ago

Analysis: Obama sees 'load of you know what' from GOP

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama chose the day of the Michigan Republican primary for what might be his highest octane attack on the Republican candidates to date.

He hit them where the Obama team believes the GOP has the upper hand: the auto bailout.

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Speaking to a fired up audience at a United Auto Workers conference in Washington, the president took a swipe at Mitt Romney without naming him telling the crowd, "some even said we should 'let Detroit go bankrupt.'"

Later he went after Republican opposition to the bailout by nearly cussing:

"They're saying that the problem is that you, the workers, made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions. Really? Even by the standards of this town, that's a load of you-know-what!"

The crowd laughed, but the remarks are unusually pointed from a president who has mostly left direct attacks against Republican candidates to surrogates.

The president's bailout barrage appears mostly aimed at Governor Romney since he's the most outspoken critic of the government's auto-industry bailout; it's been years-in-the making and includes a 2008 New York Times op-ed entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Santorum has also said he opposes the bailout.

A recent NBC/Marist poll shows Republican opposition to the government's rescue of the auto industry may help them in the Michigan primary but hurt in the general election. The poll shows 63% of all registered voters in Michigan support the auto bailout and, according to NBC's First Read, that includes 61% of independents. This is no doubt welcome news for the president's campaign looking ahead to the general election.

But 50% of GOP voters likely to turn out in the Michigan primary think the bailout was a bad idea. Only 42% of those likely to vote think the auto bailout was a good idea, so bailout politics could be a wash for Republicans in Michigan Tuesday.

Don't expect the president to stay quiet on the point. Democrats feel their prospects in Michigan are looking up. That's because the auto industry is on an upswing, according to the president the auto industry has added 200,000 new jobs and has a plan to add more, and unemployment in the state has fallen dramatically. While it's still a very high 9.3%, that's well below the 14.1% it hit in 2009.

The Obama campaign likes to say they see many paths to the 270 electoral votes needed to win re-election, but Democratic operatives close to the campaign believe Michigan is among the states the president must win if he's on a path to victory. Its 16 electoral votes are valuable and after all he's done for the state, if the president loses Michigan it won't bode well for his odds in the rest of the nation. So expect more talk of the successes of the auto bailout.

Also see:

Romney's special guest: Kid Rock

Romney hits Santorum robo calls as 'new low' in campaign

Gingrich zeroes in on Santorum in the South

Santorum robo call to Democrats: Send a message to Romney

Filed under: 2012 • Auto Bailout • Michigan • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Why do republicans also think that huge tax breaks for foreign oil companies are helping keep the cost of gasoline down?

    February 28, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    A right wingnut is now talking about the government bailing out the airline industry? What are those socialist tea baggers thinking?

    February 28, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. ThatsIt21

    Funny; I would think he should be focusing on how to fix the current problems, not patting himself on the back.

    February 28, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. T

    Some thinks he has something to do with the GAS Price.....wrong wrong wrong do your home work and stop letting the GOP think for you, think for yourself . It will make a big difference. Dems you have a long way to go so stay on point. Rep you don't know where to go...................

    February 28, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Rob

    Obama will be a one term POTUS.
    Haters GONNA HATE
    too bad it's true. Crawl outta your hole and vote for someone that WON'T STOMP ON YOUR RIGHTS AND LIE EVERY SECOND THEY GET.
    Obama's RUINED our USA.
    RON PAUL 2012 or you are insane. Plain and simple.
    How's the truth feel?

    February 28, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Rob

    Ron Paul 2012

    February 28, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Taran

    @Anonymous.."Have you EVER seen a Republican poll that has a majority in favor of anything President Obama has accomplished? You never will."=========================== you are probably right, since nothing obama has accomplished is good for this country.

    February 28, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Thinking7

    The only thing Obama shoves on America is a "load of you know what." That's all Obama does is dump, dump, dump. The dumps just keep getting bigger.

    February 28, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. lovethe usaorleave

    He should know all about it because he has been spreading it for 3 years now

    February 28, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. WiredweirdinSF

    Typical union ploy. Saul Alinski 101. Blame it on the opposition That is an example of why we have ended up with extremely high deficits, gas prices, a lack of trust in government. Say anything to get reelected. The NEA educated, drug addicts and welfare frauds will believe anything that this incompetent, inept, corrupt, union toady say and unfortunately the demcrat liberals have dumbed down enough people that they can say anything they want and get away with aided by the mainstream liberal media. Example, check the demcrat liberal statements and CNN tirade against Bush when gasoline prices started going up under the Bush administration against the complacency they have shown when price doubled under the Kenyan village idiot.

    February 28, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Concerned Mom

    Kudos to President Obama - he needs to stay tough and fight back against the GOP's lies! The GOP is so misguided right now. They are still insisting that tax cuts for the rich, no taxes for corporations, no regulations, and getting rid of unions will fix our country's problems when everyone knows that is so far from the truth. The GOP managed to do those things over the past 30 years and it led to our country's current problems. People are not buying that B***S*** anymore. Until the GOP can come up with some new ideas or at the very least decide to put our country first and cooperate with President Obama who already has ideas but can't get them past the obstructionist GOP, there is no way I would vote for a Republican. Voting Republican is simple repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different result and we all know that is stupid.

    February 28, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  12. skarphace

    I have been saying for a while now that the Obama administration wants Santorum to win the nomination. Of all the current candidates, Santorum is who they see as the weakest.

    However, be careful what you wish for, Democrats. You just might get it.

    Remember, Obama had no chance at the Presidency at this point in the race either, according to the polls. This is why some Republicans got out the vote for Obama to take down Hillary, whom they saw as the stronger candidate. And look what happened.

    February 28, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. FedUp

    The Republicans are finally taking lessons from the President in dishing out "you-know-what.".

    February 28, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. rs

    The GOP has no vision for America- the only thing they want to do is help the rich and pretty well let everyone esle fend for themselves. That is THEIR brand of freedom.

    February 28, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. David

    GM and Chrysler went bankrupt! Obama makes it sound like he helped them avoid bankruptcy, but they went bankrupt. While I am not saying the bailouts were good or bad the truth is the American taxpayer spent more money on the bailouts than they will get repaid. So they took my tax dollars and lent it to the Automakers and got a negative return. I know Romney thought they should just go bankrupt, we will never know if that was a better approach. I just don't like Obama taking credit for a losing investment like it was wonderful. I don't brag about losing investments, but that is what he is doing. Both parties are responsible for the banking bailout. I just feel used in this bailout nightmare.

    February 28, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    All you posters saying that President Obama "ruined our country." Here's what he's done:

    Gun rights: Expanded them so you can carry a concealed weapon in a National Park.

    Economy: Kept us from going into a Great Depression; GM is alive.

    Security: Bin Laden is dead; al Qaeda leadership dead or on the run. Out of Iraq; getting out of Afghanistan.

    Healthcare: Insurance companies can no longer drop you when you get sick or give birth to a special-needs child; reforms are and will continue to bring prices down.

    Taxes: 98% of Americans got one. Will let the Bush ones expire on the rich because a majority of Americans (along with 68% of millionaires and billionaires) think they should.

    The list goes on and on ... Democrats, Independents and thinking Republicans know that we either keep moving forward with President Obama or elect a Repub who will take us back to the GOP's FAILED economic, military and foreign policies.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    February 28, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. me

    it takes a load of you know what to recognize a load of you know what. Since o'bama has been shoveling it forr yearrs he should feel right at home

    February 28, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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