EXCUSE ME?! When did BMW, Mercedes, Honda, and Toyota turn into AMERICAN automakers? Because they located plants in so-called "right-to-work" states? Detroit, the U.S. auto industry is the crown jewel of American manufacturing. Isn't it outrageous how Gingrich conflates these foreign makers as the "American auto industry" and in the next paragraph says, contemptuously, "now the fact is, Chrysler is now Fiat." Gingrich must see a taint in Fiat owning a controlling share of Chrysler rather than the entire company.KING: Mr. Speaker, come in on the conversation. It's a tough one. It's a tough one. It's a major American industry, in a time of trouble.
GINGRICH: It's not tough. First of all, there's a huge amount of the American auto industry that was just fine. BMW in South Carolina was terrific. Mercedes in Alabama was doing just fine. Honda in Ohio was just fine. So the -- Toyota was just fine. What we have is the United Auto Workers and a management system that had grown very, I think incapable of tough decisions because they were used to selling out to the United Auto Workers. And so they came in and said, oh we can't change. And this president on behalf of the United Auto Workers said, you're exactly right.
Now, the fact is, Chrysler is now Fiat. So when we talk about saving the American auto industry, let's be clear what they were doing. I think that they would have been much better off to have gone through a managed bankruptcy, I agree with Governor Romney. I think it would have happened. I think what would have happened is the UAW would have lost all of their advantages and the result was, what you had I thought was an unprecedented violation of 200 years of bankruptcy law by Barack Obama to pay off the UAW at the expense of every bondholder.
The free market ideologues still talking up antiquated laissez-faire markets — as if they exist — would sit back and preside over the U.S. becoming a second-rate power by allowing our manufacturing base to go under, only to be plundered for parts by major players in Europe, Japan, and China. That is insanity.
America's competitors, the social democracies, provide far more generous health and retirement benefits, while liberal union-management cooperation gives unions a seat at the table. It's part of a winning business model for advanced democracies, in which their major industries are regarded as strategic assets. The Europeans and Japanese are totally bewildered that Americans, principally Republicans, would oppose the auto bailout loans and restructuring. And they're laughing heartily at their new best friend, Newt Gingrich, who would so easily sell our manufacturing crown jewels down the river to the highest bidder.
So Newt has the unmitigated, hypocritical gall to call BMW, Mercedes, Honda, and Toyota ... "the American auto industry"?! Not sure whether to call this treason or pure demagoguery. At the same time he was ripping U.S. automakers, Newt mentioned five foreign automakers by name, in effect advertising his services as a high-paid lobbyist. Utterly despicable. Two days earlier he derided GM's hybrid electric car, the Volt, calling it an "Obama car" because you "can't put a gun rack in a Volt." GM's head of communications, Selim Bingol, shot back: "Actually, you can. But the real question is, 'Why would you?' In both examples: It looks weird. It doesn’t work very well, and, there are better places for gun racks and training wheels — pickup trucks and little Schwinns, respectively."
Why is Gingrich attacking cutting-edge American technology that keeps American plants working at full capacity and shifts, reduces American dependence on foreign oil, contributes to the alternative energy technologies of the future, and has helped propel GM back to the world's No. 1 automaker? And why is he talking up foreign automakers, known for developing compact cars, while deriding the Volt, inaccurately, (it was under development during GWB's administration) as an "Obama car"? Newt's hypocrisy is off-the-charts. Can anyone say: divided loyalties in a presidential candidate — trashing GM, the world's #1, while talking up the foreign makers.
Treason is a charge often leveled against President Obama by Republicans. But who are the real traitors here; or more likely, ambitious opportunists? Honestly, though, it's Citizens United plutocracy unleashed. Greed is good. And treason ... it's neither personal nor patriotic; c'mon, it's business. Government doesn't belong to the people; it belongs to the highest bidder.
Let's be real. Newt's not in this to be president. He's in it to make money.