Last Friday, President Obama visited General Motors and Chrysler plants in Detroit, MI to resoundingly reaffirm the administration’s decision last year “to rescue the ailing auto industry.” While visiting the GM plant, the President test drove Chevrolet’s highly touted electric car, the Volt. In anticipation of Obama’s visit to Detroit, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh launched a campaign to deride Chevrolet’s electric vehicle, attacking “everything from the federal bailout of Chevy’s parent General Motors Corp. to the supposed superiority complex of people who would buy electric or hybrid cars.”
At a Center for American Progress event yesterday entitled “Securing Michigan’s Clean Energy Future,” Think Progress spoke with Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) about Limbaugh’s high-handed criticisms of the Chevy Volt. Granholm — a passionate advocate of clean energy as an avenue of job growth and economic revitalization — said Limbaugh’s claims are “just un-American.” She also pointed out that the Volt is a “‘good’ new story” and GM has successfully paid back its loans to the public:
Q: And we know you’ve had the disaster in the Gulf, you’ve had an oil spill in your own state. You know, you guys are doing a lot in making these investments in batteries and in new care. And here you have people like Rush Limbaugh, come out and say that the Volt is an “overpriced lemon.” What do you say to critics?
GRANHOLM: It’s just un-American. I can’t believe that somebody would say this about this American product. He hasn’t even driven it. He hasn’t sat in it. You know, why wouldn’t you be supportive of American manufacturers building American vehicles with American workers, who now have jobs as a result of this. Why wouldn’t you be supportive of that? It is mind-blowing to me. And of course, the public is getting paid back. You know, GM has paid back the loan — the bottom line is, is this is a “good” news story, and somebody who would twist it to be something negative obviously has another agenda. Which we all know he does.
During his vitriolic attack on the Volt last week, Limbaugh announced “with no small amount of pride that he turned down General Motors’ lucrative offer to continue advertising for the company because his strong principles would not allow him to recommend to people the Chevy Volt.” Last year, however, the hate radio host was singing quite a different tune. As Media Matter notes, when GM’s advertising dollars began flowing to his network in April 2009, Limbaugh eagerly endorsed the auto company’s payment protection plan despite lambasting GM only weeks earlier.