The Republican candidates keep insisting it was the work of that socialist Obama, but you might recall that his predecessor made the first move on helping the auto industry. "I'd do it again," the former president said. "I didn't want there to be 21 percent unemployment." Bush made his remarks at a meeting of the National Automobile Dealers Association, whose members are quite pleased with the recent spurt in auto sales. Chrysler dealers are especially pleased - and they're also outraged that Republicans like Karl Rove are taking the automaker to task for its Clint Eastwood Super Bowl commercial. From NYT columnist James Stewart:
[David Kelleher, president of the Chrysler National Dealer Council], said his fellow dealers, Republicans and Democrats alike, were so angered by criticism of the ad that he convened an emergency meeting of the dealers' council this week and, for only the second time in his memory, the council issued a public statement on behalf of Chrysler's 2,300 dealers. The video "was designed to relate to those still suffering the effects of the recession, that they may be buoyed by our example and they may find the courage to endure through to similar success going forward." the dealers said. "We have no doubt that this ad had no political agenda of any kind but rather a statement of fact and hope for the future for all of us and America."Republican leaders have made it quite clear that their basic goal in 2012 is to defeat the president, but attacking every single thing that comes out of the White House does not seem like a great strategy. As Stewart points out: "Candidates of either party who strap their campaigns to the weakness of the national economy run the risk of looking as if they are rooting for high unemployment and economic hardship." That's exactly what's happening.