DNC chair: Without the auto bailout, we'd all drive foreign cars (VIDEO)

The GOP's anti-bailout stance 'would have let the automobile industry in America go down the tubes,' said Democratic Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Michael Bonfigli / The Christian Science Monitor
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz meets with reporters at a breakfast sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, DC, on May 26.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, continued her party’s assault on Republicans who opposed the 2009 auto industry bailouts that President Obama supported.

One obvious political goal of her effort: wooing voters in swing states Michigan and Ohio, where carmakers have a big presence.

The Democratic Party leader's comments, made Thursday at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters, come in the wake of an announcement from Chrysler that the auto giant is repaying its loans: $5.9 billion to the US government and $1.7 billion to Canada and Ontario.

“If it were up to the candidates running for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars,” said Representative Wasserman Schultz, a Congresswoman from Florida. “They would have let the automobile industry in America go down the tubes. Mitt Romney, they are all trying to run away from what their stance was previously.”

The DNC released a video earlier this week, highlighting the anti-bailout attitudes of former Massachusetts Governor Romney and other GOP presidential contenders. It opens with a November 2008 New York Times op-ed from Romney with the headline, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” It then shows Romney in a TV interview saying, “If you write a check, they are going out of business.” The DNC video also features former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty criticizing President Obama’s auto industry bailout.

Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant told the Associated Press that “the federal government is out of control.” He added, “President Obama is kidding himself if he thinks his policies have strengthened America’s economy.”

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