WashPost Fact Check: Obama Misled on Auto Bailout Speech

Tuesday, 07 Jun 2011 02:37 PM

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President Barack Obama’s recent speech in Ohio extolling the success of the auto bailout is a misleading collection of assertions and virtually every claim “needs an asterisk, just like the fine print in that too-good-to-be-true car loan,” The Washington Post concluded in a fact check of the address.

Barack Obama, auto, bailout, Chrysler
President Barack Obama speaks at a Chrysler plant. (Getty Images Photo)
The Post started with the president’s claim that Chrysler has repaid every “dime and more of what it owes American taxpayers for their support during my presidency.”

What the president didn’t say is that, although the auto company paid back the $8.5 billion loan from the Obama administration, still outstanding is the additional $4 billion borrowed from the Bush administration.

The Treasury Department has said that the government will not recoup about $1.3 billion of the entire $12.5 billion investment, the Post reported.

The president also played fast and loose with claims that U.S. automakers are adding shifts and creating jobs at the strongest rate since the 1990s, that GM plans to hire back all those laid off during the recession, and that many in Washington thought the country should do nothing when Chrysler and GM faced collapse.

“The president is straining too hard. If the auto industry bailout is really a success, there should be no need to resort to trumped-up rhetoric and phony accounting to make your case. Let the facts speak for themselves,” the Post concluded.

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