Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should the US federal government have bailed out General Motors and Chrysler?
Virgil Goode, former US Representative (R-VA), on Dec. 10, 2008, voted against the "Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act" (HR 7321). The Congressional Research Service (CRS) summary of the act, available at www.thomas.loc.gov, states the following:
"(Sec. 4) Requires the designee to authorize and direct the disbursement of bridge loans or to enter into commitments for lines of credit to each automobile manufacturer that submitted to Congress a plan on December 2, 2008, and request for such loan or commitment ("automaker," for purposes of this Act). Establishes as the amount of such assistance the amount intended to facilitate continued operations of the automaker and prevent its failure...
(Sec. 10) Makes appropriations to provide loan funds under this Act in an amount up to $14 billion. Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Energy to replenish funds made available. Provides loan terms and conditions." Dec. 10, 2008 Virgil Goode
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, stated the following on June 13, 2011, in his video "Gov. Gary Johnson Responds to Every Question Asked in CNN Debate He Was Excluded From," available at YouTube.com:
"The bailout program was not a success in any way. Look, we have a mechanism for restructuring in this country, and it is bankruptcy. If Chrysler and General Motors would have entered into bankruptcy proceedings, arguably they would have re-emerged as the true car companies of the 21st century...
So government involvement, picking winners and losers, here we go again. Stop the notion of picking winners and losers. Make it a fair environment, a fair competitive environment. These companies bankrupted themselves, they should have been allowed to reap the consequences of that and have gone into bankruptcy... I would argue we have got troubles for these companies down the road." June 13, 2011 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following in his Jan. 24, 2012 "State of the Union Address," available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"On the day I took office, our auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen. In exchange for help, we demanded responsibility. We got workers and automakers to settle their differences. We got the industry to retool and restructure. Today, General Motors is back on top as the world’s number-one automaker. Chrysler has grown faster in the U.S. than any major car company. Ford is investing billions in U.S. plants and factories. And together, the entire industry added nearly 160,000 jobs.
We bet on American workers. We bet on American ingenuity. And tonight, the American auto industry is back." Jan. 24, 2012 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following in a Feb. 14, 2012, editorial titled "US Autos Bailout 'Was Crony Capitalism on a Grand Scale'," published in the Detroit News:
"Three years ago, in the midst of an economic crisis, a newly elected President Barack Obama stepped in with a bailout for the auto industry. The indisputable good news is that Chrysler and General Motors are still in business. The equally indisputable bad news is that all the defects in President Obama's management of the American economy are evident in what he did...
This was crony capitalism on a grand scale. The president tells us that without his intervention things in Detroit would be worse. I believe that without his intervention things there would be better...
Managed bankruptcy may sound like a death knell. But in fact, it is a way for a troubled company to restructure itself rapidly, entering and leaving the courtroom sometimes in weeks or months instead of years, and then returning to profitable operation.
Ultimately, that is what happened. The course I recommended was eventually followed. GM entered managed bankruptcy in June 2009 and exited it a month later in July.
The Chrysler timeline was similarly swift. But something else happened along the way that was truly egregious. Before the companies were allowed to enter and exit bankruptcy, the U.S. government swept in with an $85 billion sweetheart deal disguised as a rescue plan." Feb. 14, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following during a July 19, 2012 interview with NECN's Jim Braude, "Jill Stein: Obama, Romney, Harmful to US," available at www.nenc.com:
"Jill Stein: What Obama's pointing to, General Motors, you know, as the example of the shining star of our success, is basically more of the same. Corporate profits are off the chart, they have recovered, CEO salaries are doing great, but workers have had their wages slashed.
Jim Braude: Was he [President Obama] wrong to bailout those companies - the auto companies?
Jill Stein: ...[N]o he was not wrong, but we should have asked for some, you know, justice for workers... The jobs that are coming back do not sustain a family, they are not a living wage." July 19, 2012 Jill Stein
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX) stated the following during the Feb. 22, 2012 Republican presidential candidate debate in Mesa, AZ, sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona, available at www.presidency.ucsb.edu:
"I don't like the idea that you have good bailouts and bad bailouts. If bailouts are bad, they're bad, and we shouldn't be doing it.
But this argument about maybe one that works, you know, well, now that the bankruptcy or the bailing out of GM worked, I said that's sort of like if a criminal goes out and robs a bank, and he's successful, therefore you endorse what he did, because he's successful. But you have to rob people, you have to distort the law.
The government is supposed to protect contracts. They're not supposed to regulate contracts and they're not supposed to undermine contracts. And that's what we've been doing...
A lot of people will accuse me of advocating a free market, that there's no regulations. Actually, the regulations are tougher, because you have to go through bankruptcy and you have to face up to this.
And it isn't like General Motors would be destroyed. Newt made that point there, that there were good parts of General Motors. But politicians can't figure this out. Then they serve the special interests, and then you have labor fighting big business.
I opt for the free market in defense of liberty. That's what we need in this country." Feb. 22, 2012 Ron Paul