The Democratic National Committee released a new ad on Friday targeting Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) over their skepticism of the Obama administration’s initiative to save the auto industry in 2009.
The ad highlights the president’s decision to bail out two U.S. automakers. “It wasn’t an easy call, but we decided that while providing additional assistance was a risk the far greater risk to families and communities across our country was to do nothing,” President Obama says in a speech featured in the beginning of the ad.
“And now, three years later, it is paying off,” the commercial then shows Obama saying in 2012. “Not just paying off for you, it’s paying off for America. Three years later the American auto industry is back.”
Not all Republicans were on board with the president’s decision that ultimately saved the auto industry and tens of thousands of jobs. As the ad makes clear Jindal, Walker, and Paul — all of whom are speaking at this weekend’s Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, and all of whom have been rumored to harbor presidential aspirations in 2016 — spoke out in strong opposition to the auto bailout, and were very wrong.
The auto industry “could have come back more effectively…had they taken the advice of Mitt Romney,” the ad quotes Governor Walker saying. “We wasted a lot of money.”
“Welcome to Michigan,” the ad declares, “Still Home to the American Auto Industry (No Thanks to You).”
This DNC ad returns to an issue that benefited Obama greatly during the last presidential election. After Mitt Romney’s 2008 op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” the president’s re-election campaign relentlessly hammered the Republican nominee for failing to support the auto industry. The criticism helped hold Romney’s numbers down in crucial battlegrounds such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, and left Romney spending the final days of his campaign lying about Jeep moving production to China in a doomed effort to blunt Obama’s advantage on the issue.
In 2012, the auto industry reported its best sales since 2007 and has had continued success — helping not only Detroit, but the entire economy.
This DNC ad comes on the same day that President Obama spoke at a Ford Stamping Plant in Liberty, Missouri. “Five years ago plants like this one were closing their doors. And the day I stepped into the Oval Office the American auto industry, which is the heart of American manufacturing…was flatlining,” he said.
He added that had the federal government not stepped in to help GM and Chrysler, the consequences would have greatly affected Ford. “I refused to let that happen. So we worked with labor, we worked with management, everybody had to make some sacrifices,” he said. “We bet on the American worker, we bet on you, and today that bet has paid off because the American auto industry has come roaring back.”