Auto Plan Drives GOP in Different Directions

Parochial concerns results in a less-than-unified response
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2009 8:46 AM CDT
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., talks with the media before meeting General Motors officials at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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(Newser) – Republicans were caught off guard by Obama’s auto moves yesterday, and they responded in wildly different ways, Politico reports. Some complained the president hadn’t been hard enough on GM and Chrysler, while others groused that he’d been harder on them than he’d been on Wall Street. Still others, like California’s Darrell Issa, said he’d “struck the right chord.” The reason? Parochialism.

Southern legislators, who’ve long complained that the US-run automakers are getting preferential treatment compared to the foreign automakers in their states, were the ones damning Obama for leniency, while the Midwesterners decried his sternness. Republicans have managed to agree, however, on the firing of Rick Wagoner. “If Wagoner resigned because somebody in government said, ‘You have to resign,’” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, “then I think we have nationalized the auto industry.”