Paul Ryan explains his opposition to auto bailout

Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney newly anointed running mate, on Thursday made it clear that he shares the presidential candidate’s strong views about President Obama’s bailout of the auto industry. He thinks it was a bad idea.


View Photo Gallery: Romney and Ryan are on a four-day bus trip that is taking the White House hopefuls to four key swing states: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

“It didn’t help Janesville,” he said of his Wisconsin hometown during an interview with ABC affiliate 9News in Oxford, Ohio. “They shut our plant down. It didn’t help Kenosha. I represent there; they shut down the Chrysler plant.”

In a reflex that has occurred frequently since he began campaigning a week ago, Ryan drew heavily on his inner wonk to explain his view.

“What I voted for was to prevent a worse bailout,” he said. “I voted for that bill to prevent TARP from being used to bail out the auto companies at more than three times the cost of that original legislation. And where I come from, where we lost four auto factories – two Delphi, a Chrysler and a GM plant – the auto bailout didn’t work for us.”

When asked if he would vote for it today, after seeing the rebound of the auto industry in many parts of the country, Ryan was steadfast in his wonkiness.

“I voted for the House bill, which was to use the Energy Department money instead of using TARP money. That bill didn’t pass the Senate and therefore, President Bush – under his watch, to be fair – used TARP to bail out the auto companies, something I very much opposed. And I tried to prevent it – it unfortunately occurred – and now we’re still going to be out of taxpayer dollars as a result of this.”

Ryan also talked with 9 News anchor Brendan Keefe about how his time at Miami University in Oxford, his alma mater, marked a turning point for his career, and about how his budget proposals match up with Mitt Romney’s.

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