Biden discusses auto industry recovery in Ohio

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio -- Vice President Joe Biden told a crowd in a United Auto Workers union hall that the nearby General Motors plant continues operating because of government assistance that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney opposed.

Without the bailout and reorganization continued by the Obama administration, General Motors would have been liquidated, Mr. Biden said. Initial bailout loans to General Motors and Chrysler were made at the end of the Bush administration.

"But for the sacrifices you all made and the courage of the president of the United States, all those GM plants would be closed, here and all across the country," said Mr. Biden.

Members of the audience wore UAW shirts emblazoned with the words: "You had our back. Now we got yours."

The vice president spoke of Mr. Romney's opposition to the government bailout of the auto industry, immortalized in a New York Times op-ed with the headline "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

"Governor Romney's position has already been mentioned -- and you know all too well -- is to let General Motors and Chrysler, let them go bankrupt," Mr. Biden said. "Let Detroit go bankrupt."

Numerous attendees said they support Mr. Obama because of the government's rescue of the auto industry. Chuck Mohan, who drives a forklift at the General Motors plant, said the bailout strikes a nerve with every auto worker.

"When they supported the auto bailout, they basically saved our jobs," he said. "We appreciate that, and now we're backing them."

Mr. Romney and his surrogates have campaigned steadily in Ohio, and the nominee is scheduled to arrive in Cincinnati this afternoon for a rally tomorrow. Mr. Biden urged the crowd in Lordstown to help deliver their state a second time for the president.

"Help us win Ohio," Mr. Biden said. "And if we win Ohio, we win the election."

breaking - region - electionspresident

Karen Langley: klangley@post-gazette.com


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