Obama Meets With Top Automakers Amid Tension

Dem had criticized the Big Three, sat out Michigan's primary
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2008 1:07 PM CDT
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., talks on the phone in the car on the tarmac at the airport in Fayetteville, N.C., Wednesday, March 19, 2008.    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is meeting with two of the Big Three in encounters the Wall Street Journal says “could thaw festering tension” between the Dem and America’s automakers. A year after Obama criticized the companies for fighting fuel-economy standards and rewarding “failure with lucrative bonuses for CEOs,” he met with Ford’s chief yesterday in a summit the businessman called “productive.”

The candidate will sit down with GM’s CEO today, and will talk about health care and R&D support. He has spent little time in Michigan because of the botched primary. The Journal notes that the automakers may be especially keen to build good rapport with the 44th president after rocky relations with the 43rd.