Obama Throws Chrysler a Lifeline

Posted April 30, 2009 at 12:17pm

President Barack Obama on Thursday announced that after overcoming what he termed “seemingly insurmountable obstacles,— Chrysler and Italian automaker Fiat have “formed a partnership with a strong chance of success— that the United States will help finance.

“Today, after consulting with my auto task force, I can report that the necessary steps have been taken to give one of America’s most storied carmakers, Chrysler, a new lease on life,— Obama said.

Obama, who spoke at the White House, said Chrysler will enter into what he termed a brief bankruptcy to get protection from creditors before emerging in a partnership with Fiat as the majority holder once all taxpayer loans are repaid.

The bankruptcy filing shows Obama playing tough with “investment firms and hedge funds— — creditors he said held out for a better deal while workers and other financial institutions with Chrysler debt took big hits for the team.

“I don’t stand with those who held out while others are making sacrifices,— Obama declared with a dose of angry passion he rarely exhibits. “That’s why I’m supporting bankruptcy. This is not a sign of weakness, but one more stop on the clearly charted path to Chrysler’s revival.—