Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann says the nearly half-billion-dollar loan to failed green-energy firm Solyndra was the height of “crony capitalism” and in making the payment President Barack Obama was “paying off” political donors. The Minnesota congresswoman also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Thursday the Solyndra debacle epitomized another example of “gangster government.”
“This is the height of crony capitalism — this is President Obama’s political donors that he’s paying off,” Bachmann said. “And essentially, what the president did is he put one of his fund-raisers into the Energy Department to point out which of the loans should be made to which person that gave political donations to the president.
“This is really serious because you’re talking over $500 million that [is] going out to companies that had no chance of being successful — and based upon a political donation,” Bachmann said. “It’s crony capitalism at its worst.”
Van Susteren noted Energy Secretary Stephen Chu testified before Congress Thursday that the loan was “extremely unfortunate,” but he insisted there was no White House pressure. Bachmann took exception with Chu’s claims.
“I think it’s important to point out . . . there was a restructuring after the loan was already a failed loan and the United States took a lower position to get paid back first — that’s unprecedented,” Bachmann said. “And instead, the political donor of President Obama was put at the top of the heap so that they would be the first ones paid out — that’s wrong.
“Plus, it’s also important to note that the wife of the person dealing with this loan was also representing the law firm of Solyndra — this is dirty in every single aspect, and it represents the very worst of Washington,” she said. “But the worst of what President Obama is doing, which is crony capitalism, paying off political donors with taxpayer money or favors — that’s what’s wrong.”
Bachmann said she thinks Chu should resign or he should be fired, because “I think this is clearly bad dealings, not just that loan, but other loans that are suspect. And you can’t do that to the American people.”
Van Susteren asked whether the Solyndra debacle can be considered a crime, or was it just a bad decision.
“Well, that — that would be up for people in Justice to make that decision as far as a crime because I certainly wouldn’t be the one to bring it,” Bachmann said. “But I do think there’s something morally reprehensible that it rises to a level that has the president of the United States using the United States government for the purpose of paying off political donors.
“That’s gangster government — that’s gangster government when you have a government pay off your political donors to pay off your debts, “ she said. “That’s wrong.”
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