Feb. 28 - U.S. President Barack Obama gives a fiery speech to the United Auto Workers union, defending the auto bailout. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a fiery speech to the United Auto Workers Union in Washington DC, as Michigan voters head to the polls for the Republican presidential primary. Though he did not mention Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney by name, Obama cited the title of a 2008 opinion piece Romney wrote called "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" in which Romney argued against a government-funded bailout. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "You will recall, there were some politicians who said we should do that. Some even said we should "let Detroit go bankrupt." You remember that? You know them. Think about what that choice would have meant for this country. If we had turned our backs on you; if America had thrown in the towel; if GM and Chrysler had gone under: the suppliers and distributors that get their business from those companies would have died off, too. Then even Ford could have gone down as well. Production: shut down. Factories: shuttered. Once proud companies chopped up and sold off for scraps. And all of you -- the men and women who built these companies with your own hands - would've been hung out to dry," He also talked about what he might do after what he predicted would be his second term in office. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "At GM's Hamtramck plant in Detroit, I got to get inside a brand-new Chevy Volt fresh off the line, even though Secret Service wouldn't let me drive it. But I liked sitting in it. It was nice. I bet it drives real good. And five years from now when I'm not president any more, I'll buy one and drive it myself." Analysts say Obama may need the help of the United Auto Workers in the key battleground state of Michigan to win reelection this November. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.