At UAW Conference, Obama Defends Auto Bailout

In a speech to a convention of United Auto Workers, President Obama vigorously defended his administration’s bailout of the auto industry.

Without naming his Republican opponents, a combative President Obama took shots at their opposition to the bailout.

“It’s been funny to watch some of these folks completely try to rewrite history, now that you’re back on your feet,” Obama said. At first, Obama said, Republicans opposed the auto bailout saying it would mark the end of the American auto industry. Then, he said, after the bailout turned out to be a success, they said his administration did it to bail out the union.

“Now, they’re saying we were right all along,” he said. “Even by the standards of this time, that’s a load of you know what.”

With the Michigan primaries today, the auto industry bailout has come back into the spotlight. As we reported earlier, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is even running a robocall campaign that criticizes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for opposing the auto bailout.

President Obama touted the fact that the industry is back on its feet.

“I placed my bet on the American worker and I’ll make that bet any day of the week,” said Obama.

The president also touched on the broader issue of income inequality. He criticized Republicans for what he said was their way of thinking of “hard working men and women” as a special interest.”

“I keep on hearing these same folks talk about values all the time,” he said. “You want to talk about values? Hard work– that’s a value. Looking out for one another, that’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together and I am my brother’s and sister’s keeper that’s a value.

“They’re out there talking about you like you’re some kind of special interest that needs to be beaten down.

“Not to put too fine a point on it. They are wrong,” he said. “That’s the philosophy that got us into this mess. We can’t afford to go back to it. Not now.”

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