White House says it loves American cars after ousting GM executive

At Monday’s White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stressed his and the president’s devotion to American cars.

Mr. Obama “is the owner of an American car, I’m the owner of an American car,” Gibbs said. When asked if the President wants citizens to buy cars made in the US, Gibbs said “absolutely.”

Loved my Jeep

Gibbs told the briefing, which focused on federal policy toward the automakers, that he “used to have a Jeep” which he loved to drive.

Last Thursday, Gibbs told White House reporters that President Obama owned a Ford Escape Hybrid. Gibbs said he was “a proud Ford owner” of the same kind of vehicle. Gibbs said the President’s Ford “is back in Chicago.”

Tough love

The statements of affection came after the President announced Monday morning that he was giving General Motors and Chrysler a brief time to develop plans that would justify a fresh infusion of federal cash to keep them alive. Chrysler got a month to consummate a partnership with Fiat of Italy. And GM got 60 days to come up with an improved plan for viability. At the same time, Mr. Obama announced the government had asked GM’s Chairman, Rick Wagoner, to step down.

While the President may be a Ford owner, most of the time he travels in General Motors products. The presidential limousine is a specially modified Cadillac which, close up, seems to have been built on a truck chassis and is unlike anything available at your local dealer. For less formal occasions, the President is driven in a heavily armored black Chevrolet Suburban.

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