President Barack Obama has touted his auto bailout as a resounding success, but he and other Democrats are running from the term “bailout,” describing it as an “auto rescue” instead.
The White House and Congress agreed to put $80 billion into the auto companies, starting with President George W. Bush. Obama has used the bailout as a main pillar of his campaign in Midwestern swing states like Ohio and Iowa, The Hill
Bailouts have taken a negative connotation as the public has come to loathe the bailout of the financial services industry.
Even former President Bill Clinton sought to avoid the term while campaigning for Democrats last week. He spoke in detail about the auto bailout but rejected use of the label.
"We are growing manufacturing jobs, and there is no more clear example of this than what happened in the automobile restructure," he said. "I don't like when it's called a bailout because it's not fair. No banks would finance this, so the government came in and helped with loans and an investment in stock of General Motors and Chrysler."
The auto industry and manufacturing in general are the main themes of the presidential race in the key swing state of Ohio. With Obama lauding government intervention in the auto industry, and Romney criticizing it, “it really is a microcosm of the national campaign,” Stephen Brooks, a political science professor at the University of Akron, told Bloomberg.
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