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November 5th, 2012
11:55 AM ET

Harvard's Larry Summers on how the auto bailout could shape the election

Fmr. Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama Larry Summers discusses this morning on “Starting Point” whether there was decent in the Obama administration over the auto bailout.

Seeking out whether the Obama campaign was focused on re-election in the Midwest when deciding to support the auto bailout, Ryan Lizza asks Summers about the ‘descent over the auto bailout in the white house.” Summers says, “There was never any question about the largest part of the automobile bailout.” He adds, “I was there. There was descent about the Chrysler piece which was about 1/3 the size of the General Motors piece… He made that judgment…against the advice of many of his political advisors because he believed that the risks to the economy of adding another blow at that moment were just to great. That was the right decision as we’ve seen.”

Summers concludes by saying, “with a different president it can easily have gone a different way and we could easily be looking at a different economy in Ohio and a very different economy in Michigan. In fact, that’s what Governor Romney famously recommended. Just let them go. There were those among the president’s advisors who shared that judgment. Fortunately the president came to a very different conclusion.”

Filed under: 2012 Race
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