Santorum: autos would be doing better without bailout

Feb 16, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told members of the Detroit Economic Club that he still thinks the federal bailout of the auto industry was the wrong move.

Santorum said he thinks auto companies should have been allowed to thrive or fail in the free market.

“Would the auto industry look different than it is today? Yes it would be. Would it still be alive and well? I think it would be equally alive and better,” said Santorum.

Santorum said he blames President George Bush for setting a precedent of federal government bailouts that damaged the capitalist system.

“I actually blame President Bush more than I blame President Obama. President Obama was just following suit. President Bush set the precedent, it was the wrong precedent, and I think that while there may be companies that are doing well today – and obviously you have a couple companies here that are – the long-term consequence to this country, having set the precedent of the role of government and the economy is not going to be a good one,” said Santorum.

Santorum did not make much mention of Republican primary rival Mitt Romney, who is also making campaign stops this week in Michigan.