Posted in: Politics

David Letterman: Obama Not Telling The Truth About Romney Auto Bailout Editorial [Video]

David Letterman Obama

David Letterman says that the president was misrepresenting Mitt Romney’s views on the Detroit auto bailout.

David Letterman is a big fan of President Barack Obama as any regular viewer of the Late Show is well aware. On Tuesday night, during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow about Monday’s presidential debate, Letterman admitted he was “upset” and “discouraged” that the president was not telling the truth Mitt Romney’s GM auto bailout views.

Letterman wasn’t kidding around for once, so this is rather a surprising admission from one of the president’s most fervent supporters.

During the debate, Obama and Romney disagreed about what the GOP standard bearer wrote in his op-ed piece in the November 8, 2008, issue of the New York Times.

This is what Letterman said last night about the back-and-forth about the auto bailout during the debate:

“Now, I don’t care whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you want your president to be telling the truth; you want the contender to be lying. And so what we found out today or soon thereafter that, in fact, the President Obama was not telling the truth about what was excerpted from that op-ed piece. I felt discouraged.”

Rachel Maddow replied, “Because the ‘Let Detroit go bankrupt’ headline you feel like was inappropriate?”


“Well, the fact the President is invoking it and swearing that he was right and that Romney was wrong and I thought, well, he’s the president of course he’s right. Well, it turned out no, he was taking liberties with that.”

Romney was in favor of giving government help to the auto industry but only after it went through a managed bankruptcy and streamlined its operations. As the Detroit News explains, “Romney’s plan would have called for government financing — but only after the companies had filed for bankruptcy.” The News acknowledges, however, that the auto companies could have been stuck in bankruptcy for a long time and may not have survived after the process.

The Detroit News also explains that GM and Chrysler went bankrupt under Obama’s watch anyway despite Obama’s claims during the debate that he wasn’t about to let Detroit go bankrupt:

“In fact, Obama did put General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC into bankruptcy after President George W. Bush gave the automakers and their finance arms $25 billion in the final weeks of his presidency. Obama added $60 billion to the bailouts and agreed to swap much of the government loans for stock in the automakers, as part of a plan to speed the companies through bankruptcy in just 40 days.”

The restructuring as implemented also proved to be a windfall for the politically connected unions to the detriment of other investors.

Romney concluded his auto bailout op-ed in the Times as follows:

“The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

“In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”

Watch David Letterman say he is upset and discouraged that the president is not telling the truth about Mitt Romney and the auto bailout:

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74 Responses to “David Letterman: Obama Not Telling The Truth About Romney Auto Bailout Editorial [Video]”

  1. Judy Diane Arbic

    Why didn't they show Madows reply..only showed part of the video. He did say Let them go Bankrupt. Fact.

  2. Charlotte Scot

    Dave Letterman mentioned something about third parties… yes another secret the President and Gov. Romney have been keeping from voters is that other people are running for President too. (Unfortunately the press and media have kept the secret as well.) I'm supporting former two term Mayor of Salt Lake City Rocky Anderson. YOu should have him on the show (Romney endorsed for a second term as Mayor while he was borrowing taxpayer dollars to run the Olympics) If you take the time to visit you will find a man who speaks his mind (which coincidentally is the truth).He is dynamite… a great interview and the only candidate I am aware of who has passion for the views he espouses. C'mon Dave… GO FOR REALITY… get Rocky Anderson on your show!

  3. Marty Savarick

    Absolutely correct Megan, We should tell Yahoo to print a retraction rather than mislead with an incorrect headline. Maddow clearly followed up that with Romneys plan there was no takers to finance a restructured bankruptcy because the banks we not lending to ANYONE AT THAT TIME. The Chapter 11 would shortly turn into Chaper 7 which would be total liquiddation.

  4. Anonymous


  5. Anonymous


  6. Anthony Scott Callaway

    Can't stand Maddow! She's annoying. She's just a far left liberal left wing blowhard —–! The same can be said for Chris Matthews & Ed Schultz. MSNBC is MSLSD.

  7. Jesse Raphael

    The green party candidates were arrested for trying to attend a presidential debate. The two party system of democracy is a sham. Unless independent candidates can raise billions through superPACs nothing will change.

  8. Cat Summers

    Dave should make up his mind,,, talk about flip-floping.. One minute he's telling evryone not to vote Mitt because he won't do his show and has been very much in Obama's corner. Now he changes his mind and Obama is a liar.. Ahhh, Dave, tell us something we don't know…..

  9. Don Hakenson

    Are you serious, did you even read the Op-ed. “Romney’s plan would have called for government financing — but only after the companies had filed for bankruptcy.” Didn't matter if there was a taker! The only difference between the two plans was the windfall that the union received ahead of secured lenders, who are supposed to be first in line through the bankruptcy process. If Letterman who is one of Obama's biggest cheerleaders can admit this why can't you! Because your a partisan hack, Obama sucks, Romney sucks and sir so do you! I demand a retraction of your stament

  10. Anonymous

    David Letterman, Obama is Not Telling The Truth about soooo many things. It's encouraging that at least on this one item you can see that he's a liar. Pay closer attention and you'll realize that a great deal of what he says is not true.

  11. Anonymous

    If you have a problem with Romney's idea of a managed bankruptcy, than you don't know what that is and you need to do some research. It doesn't mean let them go broke and shut down. It's basically a reorganization managed by the courts. In most cases the companies come out of it much stronger…it's often the best business strategy/tool for a business in trouble. Don't believe everything Obama says…he's usually "twisting the truth"!

  12. Anonymous

    Robert Halprin you prick! Don't use Lettermans interview to promote your own beliefs. Play cards fairly! He scolded both candadates for distorting truths! If you are going to report the news do it fairly. Don't lie to your viewers/readers, and put part of a video interview that suits your beliefs. We all can pull up the entire interview and see that you were bsing us. In the old days reporting the news was about the truth. Your profession had honor. Your actions diminishes the credibility of journalism! Good day busta!

  13. Maureen Green

    Where is the rest of this story? Mitt Romney wanted to let the auto companies qualify for private financing to build themselves back up again which is how most managed bankruptcies go. The problem is, most analysts say the auto companies could never have qualified for that financing as no lender would assume the risk. No, Obama was right, Romney was wrong, and Letterman opened his mouth with only half the information.

  14. Brian Kennedy

    Rachel Maddow is like the kid who studies real hard and tries to impress the teacher with how she mastered the material. Not an original thought in her body.

  15. Tom Thomas

    Actually Obama IS telling the truth and apparently a lot of REPUGS are too STUPID or CYNICAL to admit it. GM went through EXPEDITED bankruptcy which is why they were in and out in 30 days which is unheard of. They also had financing from the government. As Obama correctly stated, in NORMAL bankruptcy NOT government aided, you have to have NEW lendors willing to help the government COME OUT of bankruptcy..there were none. And IF GM never got any more money they were GONE! The auto parts suppliers would be gone also. Why did Ford SUPPORT the bailout done for a competitor. Read the auto parts suppliers sentence again. Too bad Letterman didn't do his homework. It was NOT the word "bankruptcy" that made the difference…it was the TYPE of bankruptcy and most importantly the access to money. Obama's plan = money available to continue in business Roach Romney plan = GM out of business.

  16. Dusty Harvey

    GM took part of the bailout money to build a new factory in Ramos Arispe, Coahuila Mexico. The really funny part of that is since President Obama made us (The American taxpayer) part owner of GM……WE outsourced our own jobs!

  17. Anonymous

    The same can be said for Fox news…just substitute right for left.

  18. Anonymous

    The same can be said for Fox news…just substitute right for left.

  19. Mary Vaughn Anderson

    Imagine that! Obama is lying! Who'd of thunk it? He lies about everything. He is a thug and a cheat and does not deserve to be President another four years!

  20. Mary Vaughn Anderson

    Imagine that! Obama is lying! Who'd of thunk it? He lies about everything. He is a thug and a cheat and does not deserve to be President another four years!

  21. Daniel Pouesi

    Only now he knows the president is a liar? This is why we can't trust Hollywood. They're blind.

  22. Daniel Pouesi

    Only now he knows the president is a liar? This is why we can't trust Hollywood. They're blind.

  23. Ellen Crosby

    Remember what Romney does for a living; he swoops in and takes over a company and STREAMLINES (read fire people) it operations which is exactly what he would have done for the auto industry, thus adding to the unemployment rolls and then blamed it on Obama. Mr President correctly identified Romneys intentions as we all should. We will return to the "Bush Era" keeping the tax breaks for the wealthy and adding to the deficeit if Romney is elected. The hysteria over "Obama Care" is fueled by the insurance oligarchy which views the legislation as a usurpation of its chokehold on our lives. Mind your own business, Dave.

  24. Anonymous

    Letterman actually saying anything against Obama is just almost too much to believe…. For many years I was a loyal Letterman viewer… I mean ever sine Johnny left the Tonight Show… but his liberal spew and the fact he's just not funny anymore has me elsewhere.

  25. Fernando Joanino

    What else is new with current president, it's all fake from the very beginning of questionable birth certificate, with multiple social security numbers, old passport documents, unknown documents where he obtained the resources to finance his travels from one country to other countries aside from where he sourced his finances during his college studies as well buying real estate property in the suburb of Chicago, fabricated college transcripts, etc….In addition to these, what in the world of a person that had used three different names.

  26. John Gay

    This is a great piece. I love the fact that Maddow refers to a bold lie as "inappropriate" not a "lie", or that letterman thought it was "inappropriate". I wish he would've said NO it was a lie that's why I'm discouraged.

  27. Lois Donnay

    So, basically, it's true, it's just that not everybody understands what "bankruptcy" is. It sounds worse than it is (except for all the people who lose their jobs when companies go through it – including those of the creditor companies) so it is deceptive. It is just like bleeding heart liberals to be worried about winning fair, rather than through deceit and taking away the right to vote. Anyway, it worked, and the US got their investment back. Obama has a better rate of picking winners than Romney at Bain Capital – 92% to 76% (see The Daily Show, 10/25).

  28. J Brian Bickford

    I watch both Fox and Msnbc and the latter is much more 1 sided. I mean come on. They're not hiding it. Their slogan is lean forward. They might as well change the Peacock to the Obama sun or flag. Pure propaganda.

  29. Charlotte Scot

    We the people have to be their billions. There are more independents than Republicans or Democrats. The problem is we have been so brainwashed to believe there are only two political parties in this country we continually lose. We've got to seize our power and work for a new political party. I'm a "frugal progressive" and I am constantly amazed how Republicans and Democrats think either Romney or Obama will get us out of debt when they've spent 2 BILLION dollars to win a $400,000 a year job. Rocky Anderson refuses even one penny of corporate money and when he left office after two terms as Mayor of Salt Lake City… he left a budget surplus. We need to stop labeling people as Liberals and Conservative and realize many of us have more than one position on a variety of issues. We want what we think is best for our country, and we don't want our politicians bought and paid for, we don't want senseless wars, we don't want huge deficit spending, we want our education fixed so we can compete with the rest of the world, we want ballot access for all; we want people who think for themselves and don't get strangled by following a party line.

  30. Bob Woodall

    Lois, the US did NOT get its investment back. We are out $ billions on the GM deal. Money we will never get back. The Obama bankruptcy also laid off 22,000 GM workers and got rid of 63,000 dealership employees. Why not ask the shareholders of "old" GM how they feel about losing their investments?

  31. Kurt Smith

    wealthy being business owners who provide jobs or people who made something out of their lives instead of these lazy entitled people who get taxed too much only making 12$ an hour…free food,free rent, and now free insurance.stop blaming the government on your own shortcomings and take responsibility .btw its spelled deficit…

  32. Anonymous

    my roomate's mom brought home $13243 last week. she been making cash on the computer and bought a $388200 house. All she did was get blessed and put into action the tips explained on this link try37.coℳ.

  33. Lois Donnay

    Do you think GM investors, employees, creditors or dealerships would have been happier under "managed bankruptcy"? There was little money around back then. It would have been a sad day for the American auto companies. And quoting right wing blogs doesn't make the point that this admin. has been bad at picking companies to back. Actually, by comparison, pretty good.

  34. Jerry L. Nowlin

    The auto union bailouts benefitted the United Auto Workers and stiffed the bond holders.

  35. Neal Angel

    Sweetie, you obviously don't know much about bankruptcy law, or why Romney was suggesting this alternative over Obama's plan. Obama is exploiting your ignorance on the subject.

  36. Neal Angel

    "Dog bites man" is not a story. "Man bites dog" is. Think about that.

  37. Neal Angel

    OMG, you have no clue what you are talking about. Obama's plan resulted in the elimination of some 120,000 jobs in auto dealers. Not only that, he gave his union buddies a sweetheart deal, while hanging bondholders & contract workers (like the Delphi employees) out to dry. Not only that, but Bain was successful 70% of the time in helping companies like Staples to thrive, using private capital. Obama, on the other hand, has spent some $500 bil. in taxpayer funds supporting failed "green energy" companies , (along with his financial bundlers & contributors) like Solyndra.

  38. Gary Penir

    His one sidedness is nauseating. I don't watch him much anymore. I have seen Obama on Letterman and Leno this past week. What happened to equal time for all candidaes? On top of that, what happened to fair and balanced news prorams….no Walter Cronkites in sight!

  39. Chuck McLean

    if Romney thought the car companies should go through a managed bankruptcy, why didn't any financial companies come forward to manage it. Could it be that given the state of Wall St. there was nobody who had the money to do it. if Romney though the car companies should go through a managed bankruptcy, why did he not use his considerable infuence to have Bain Fiancial step forward? in fact, Bain was approached and they declined. No one had the money to finance a managed bankruptcy except the goverment, and a lot of peolpe kept jobs because of it.

  40. Thomas Mitchell

    It would've be great had private investors had come in and took over, but none were interested. In fact, Romney's own company, Bain Capital, was not interested in getting involved in the auto bailout. Sure, it wasn't perfect, not all the jobs could've been saved. But, the current end result appears to be better than the alternative.

  41. Tim Martin

    You certainly don't hear about "HOPE AND CHANGE" anymore… And why is it Letterman didn't say Obama was lying, but softened it up to "not telling the truth"?

  42. Joyce Heflin Harris

    when a man lies it shows his character. when he starts tripping over his lies they all unravel..i don't care if your right left or middle.. lies are lies.. when told to gain something that's a tainted person who will do or say anything to get what they want. when I meet someone that looks me in the face and tells a lie. I don't keep trusting everything they say.

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