The government recently promised the auto industry $25 billion in loans in order to produce more fuel-efficient models. Now, as General Motors and Chrysler consider a merger, executives are hinting at another $10 billion in federal help. Earlier this week, top McCain adviser Carly Fiorina said the campaign opposes any auto bailout:
“I don’t think the government can rescue the industry,” Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Corp, told Reuters at an event in suburban Detroit.”Whatever the government does, it should not take away the fundamentals of risk-taking. Sometimes it leads to rewards and sometimes consequences, downside,” she said. “In other words, the auto industry cannot be saved from its own bad bets.”
Today, however, interviewed on Good Morning America, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) expressed support for the auto industry bailouts:
Q: We’re finding out that there may be a possibility of some sort of bail-out or government assistance for the auto industry. Would that be something that you would support?
MCCAIN: Well, we’ve already done that to $25 billion, and we’ve delayed getting them the money. I would do whatever I think needs to be done to help our automotive industry. We’ve got to make this transition to flex fuel, battery powered, hydrogen automobiles. And, obviously — and, also, I would provide tax credits for people who buy these new automobiles. We’ve got to keep this industry alive. There’s no doubt about that.
McCain has been slowly creeping towards supporting bailouts for the auto industry. In June, he stated, “Frankly I just don’t see a scenario where the federal government would come in and bail out any industry in America today.” Earlier this week, McCain was on the fence, telling NBC, “Let’s get the $25 billion to them to start with and see how that goes.” Finally, today, he hinted at full support for more bailouts.
Fiorina has been ostracized by the campaign for repeatedly publicly contradicting campaign policy. In April, she said McCain favored “private accounts” for Social Security, while McCain was saying he opposed privatizing Social Security. She has also contradicted McCain on birth control policy.