January 26, 2006


Bush to GM, Ford: Make more appealing cars: President tells newspaper that he'd be reluctant to bail out nation's automakers just before GM posts devastating 4Q losses. (Reuters, 1/26/06)

President Bush said General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. should develop more appealing products rather than look to Washington for help with their heavy pension burdens, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

In an interview Wednesday, Bush said he had not talked to the struggling companies about their finances but hinted that he would take a dim view of a government bailout of the top two U.S. automakers, the newspaper reported.

President Bush Holds a White House Press Conference (Courtesy CQ Transcripts, January 26, 2006)
QUESTION: Mr. President, is Mideast peacemaking dead with Hamas' big election victory? And do you rule out dealing with the Palestinians if Hamas is the majority party?

BUSH: Peace is never dead, because people want peace. I believe -- and that's why I articulated a two-state solution early in my administration so that -- as a vision for people to work toward, a solution that recognized that democracy yields peace and the best hope for peace in the Middle East is two democracies living side by side.

BUSH: So the Palestinians had an election yesterday, the results of which remind me about the power of democracy.

You see, when you give people the vote, you give people a chance to express themselves at the polls, they -- and if they're unhappy with the status quo, they'll let you know.

That's the great thing about democracy: It provides a look into society.

And yesterday, the turnout was significant, as I understand it. And there was a peaceful process as people went to the polls. And that's positive.

What was also positive is that it's a wakeup call to the leadership.

BUSH: Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo.

The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find health care.

And so the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the Palestinian territories.

I like the competition of ideas. I like people that have to go out and say, "Vote for me and here's what I'm going to do." There's something healthy about a system that does that.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 26, 2006 11:56 AM

What was also positive is that it's a wakeup call to the leadership.

Hopefully, Hamas understands the wakeup call as "gee I guess we've got to be a responsible government now" rather than "gee now we've got the green light to wage war against Israel as an actual sovereign state."

Posted by: Twn at January 26, 2006 12:30 PM

What W CAN do is make the case for lower corporate taxes which help all.

We pay more than frogistan - geez.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 26, 2006 5:45 PM

This entire flap was engineered by the auto industry to enable them to bail out on their union committments.

Posted by: Genecis at January 26, 2006 6:10 PM

There's more on this at Scatterbox in a post titled, "Speaking of relevance, Mr. President…" The nation’s CEO has a far worse track record than the auto companies he scolded for not controlling costs and being irrelevant to the public.

Posted by: Steven Silvers at January 27, 2006 12:06 AM

Mr. Silvers:

To the contrary, he's run the country like the very best CEOs would have:


Which is why our stock has never been higher.

Posted by: oj at January 27, 2006 7:33 AM