It looks like it was a good thing Michigan delivered up the electoral votes to help elect Barack Obama, because he's just made saving the auto industry part two of a three-part plan to address the nation's economic woes. In his first press conference today as President-elect, Obama whipped Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm out on stage, telling the world he hopes to approve the $25 billion in assistance for retooling. In addition, Detroit's new diety claimed he plans to make additional policy options to help U.S. automakers create fuel-efficient cars a "high priority" for the transition team. That's good news for Detroit given today's bad ...err... awful ... news. Although after Wagoner's remarks earlier, we're hoping there will be an industry to save after he's inaugurated. Full remarks from Detroit's personal Jesus below:
The news coming out of the auto industry this week reminds us of the hardship it faces – hardship that goes far beyond individual auto companies to the countless suppliers, small businesses and communities throughout our nation who depend on a vibrant American auto industry. The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would like to see the Administration do everything they can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted. In addition, I have made it a high priority for my transition team to work on additional policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States. I have asked my team to explore what we can do under current law and whether additional legislation will be needed for this purpose.Preach it.