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The Real Economy

Democrats campaign on auto bailouts

Mitchell Hartman May 16, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Vice President Biden will be in Youngstown, Ohio, today touting the bailout of the auto industry. The Obama campaign is hoping to benefit from the jobs the bailout saved — not just in Detroit, but across the midwest.

Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.

Mitchell Hartman: Tractor-trailers loaded with new Jeeps stream out of a huge Chrysler plant in Illinois. Four thousand workers will be punching in here by Election Day. In 2009, there were no auto workers left on the line.

Bobby Cowan: I would think it would have been a huge mistake for America to give up its automobile industry.

Machine-tool operator Bobby Cowan says some of his relatives are eager to get back to work at GM and Chrysler. 

Good news for Democrats, says historian Julian Zelizer.

Julian Zelizer: They’re hoping in Michigan, and Ohio, and parts of Pennsylvania, some sense that things are improving, opens up places where Obama was seen as vulnerable.

Paul Eisenstein of TheDetroitBureau.com says the bailouts aren’t as popular away from the Great Lakes.

Paul Eisenstein: In Tennessee, with Nissan being a major factor and Detroit closing the Saturn plant, Senator Corker was one of the most outspoken opponents.

Eisenstein says opposition to the bailouts might weaken, now that GM is ramping up production again in Tennessee.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

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