President George W. Bush recently spoke to a gathering of auto dealers in Las Vegas, saying that while he believes in the free market under normal conditions, he doesn't regret the $700 billion bailout fund used to rescue General Motors and Chrysler from the brink of collapse. Bush was quoted as saying he'd do it again, and that he didn't want there to be a 21 percent unemployment rate. The former leader avoided addressing remarks from the current gaggle of Republican presidential candidates who have criticized his decision to lend a hand to banks, insurers and automakers.

"If you make a bad decision, you ought to pay," Bush said. "Sometimes circumstances get in the way of philosophy."

Bush championed a $17.4 billion bailout for the two automakers in December of 2008 as part of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said both Bush and current President Barack Obama were mistaken in bailing out the auto industry. Instead, Romney believes GM and Chrysler should have been allowed to go into a controlled bankruptcy from the start.


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  • 111 Comments
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      too big to fail this just shows that keeping a hard line on one belief (fiscal conservatism) that one should always be open to listen to other trains of thought (fiscal liberalism) in order to keep society moving forward I agree with Mr Bush for showing his moderate side here, which any voice of reason would support and I commend him The ends justified the means and far outweighed the potential consequences of inaction
        That Kid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @snap_understeer_ftw
        While I don't much like Bush, I agree with the sentiment here. I thought almost from the onset that it was one of the most commendable decisions he ever made. The bad still far outweighs the good with him but we as Americans need to admit that no good is ever going to come of disagreeing with a decision reflexively because you can't stand the person who made it.
      buckfeverjohnson
      • 2 Years Ago
      1. We will never know what would have happened if GM and Chrysler were allowed to go bankrupt. Debate it all you want, we will never know. 2. Bush was not a fiscal conservative. He has only been outspent by one president whether you use inflation adjusted dollars or not. He was a social conservative. 3. It is what it is, lets move forward.
      jay
      • 2 Years Ago
      gosh, I forgot about that, yet Republicans bash Obama for doing the same???? Thanks G.W.,
      Jakie Lewis
      • 2 Years Ago
      OMG What are the Obama bashers going to do? Blame Bush????
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hate that the bailouts had to happen, but it was a necessary evil. The big three would have all gone chapter 13, (and yes, that includes Ford - even Ford has admitted this) and thousands of jobs would have been lost, resulting in unemployment rates in the 20% range. That basically would have triggered another depression, and millions of people would be standing in soup lines or starving. Romney is a hack. He is simply trying to get votes from the "gubmit motors" haters, many of which would have been negatively affected if the bailouts didn't happen, and don't even realize that Bush had a hand in the bailouts. Romney makes more in a day than most people make in a year. He is out of touch and cannot identify with the real life problems of working class people. The only way we will ever get real change is if all candidates have equal financing limits, and equal access to the public. Right now, they only way to get "elected" is to buy your way into office. Democrats and Republicans are one and the same, and are both financed by the same corporations, such as Monsanto. Until all candidates can get an equal access to potential voters, we will not live in a true democracy.
        That Kid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        This is the message that needs to repeated: neither of these parties represent the best interests of the American people. Nor does one represent an alternative to the other. The difference comes down to how obviously willing they are to give the American people the shaft. With Republicans like Romney and Gingrich, their disdain for the common people could scarcely be more obvious. With Democrats like Obama, you have the "soft sell" version of the betrayal of America. So long as any average joe thinks it's in his interests to be a cheerleader for either, his interests are threatened and real discussion about what constitutes the best approach to solving our problems is impossible. Could it be any more obvious that they want liberal-identifying and conservative-identifying people to hate each other so much that finding common ground or pooling minds to cure what ails us becomes impossible? Is anything more useful to the elites pulling the strings behind the scenes than a public that is so divided that half of the people would be happy to watch the other half fail?
      cbsguards
      • 2 Years Ago
      Intersting that he'd say that inPublic since the current GOP has made a point of using that as a negative on Obama. The real point then is sometimes party is not important when reality dictates what is the right thing. Obama dna Bush knew allowing the Auto Industry to fail was a bad thing. Romney sees it from Bains Point of view this is how he made his fortune. Find the compnaies that introuble buy them for pennies on the dollar take out as much as as possible as personall income and see if the market will allow them to survive. Who thinks letting the rich create more wealth for themslefs as workers lose jobs and income to allow the market, ie the rich to profit from it. Good solid common sense policies are the foundation of this country and Obama has shown he gets it
      weside29
      • 2 Years Ago
      So now that the bailouts proved beneficial, Bush is quick to claim it. Something tells me he'd be pushing it on the Dems if it hadn't...
      Dennis Baskov
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bush and Obama are no different when it comes to bailouts. If a auto company goes belly up, probably safest and best thing to do is to bail them out. But I don't think it's a good idea to tell the big auto makers that you would go out of your way to bail them out, since their execs can run the company to the ground for their own good and at people's expense. So really, there's a catch 22 here.
      That Kid
      • 2 Years Ago
      What Bush is essentially saying is that even his ideology and bubble of patrician privilege could not blind him to the fact that kissing off a few hundred thousand jobs and the bulk of America's industrial capability would have made him a very unpopular man indeed. Perhaps it was the only thing he could have done to be more widely reviled among the American people. Unless conservatives want to credit him with screwing the pooch so badly he made it possible for Barack Obama to win the 2008 election easily.
      bboenter
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't get all the nonsense about letting the automakers fail. They didn't need a bailout because of poor management. They needed a bailout because the credit markets froze up. Companies and individuals couldn't borrow money to purchase anything. Even the Japanese brands received bailouts from Tokyo, although they only admit to a few billion.
      harlanx6
      • 2 Years Ago
      GB turned out to be a big government guy, but he was always running against other big government guys. If you want big government, you are going to pay.
      Andrew
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bish is idiouts, Obama saved GM and Chryysler not him! Way to try and act like som one else!
        Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew
        Pretty sure they both had an effect on saving those two auto companies. If Bush did not start the bailouts, those companies wouldnt have been there by the time Obama got into office. You might not like the guy, but don't start saying false statements. Show some class.
          axiomatik
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matt
          heh, if no one said false statements, these comment sections would be half empty.
        tylermars.design
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew
        type much?
        clquake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew
        Seriously? You can easily find the timeline of the bailouts (not just auto).
        AnthonyL
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andrew
        From the article: "Bush championed a $17.4 billion bailout for the two automakers in December of 2008 as part of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program."
          Andrew
          • 2 Years Ago
          @AnthonyL
          Tipical republicans lyon all the time.. Obama saved them that'is a fact. Not bush nor any other republicans.
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