GOP Zaps President’s Backing of Electric Automaker Fisker, Obama’s ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Comments
(WASHINGTON) — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will spearhead an effort to re-focus attention on the 2009 economic stimulus and instances where American money was used by companies to outsource jobs or help create business overseas.
Priebus will make the argument at an event in Philadelphia and focus specifically on Fisker, the start-up electric car company that received part of a $529 million federal government loan guarantee from the Obama Administration.
A recent TV ad produced by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign lumps Fisker in with failed solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.
Fisker has not gone bankrupt like Solyndra, but it has not yet carried through on plans to begin assembling cars in a U.S. manufacturing plant, either.
Fisker purchased a shuttered General Motors plant in Delaware with government help, and predicted it would one day employ 2,000 auto workers to assemble the clean-burning gas-electric family car, known as the Atlantic. That promise was enough for the Obama administration, apparently, but didn’t materialize when the rubber hit the road — as it never actually did: The Atlantic was already behind schedule when the company’s unsteady financial footing prompted the Department of Energy to freeze their loan payments.
The car company has continued to receive private financing and now says it will consider looking elsewhere — including overseas — for a cheaper place to produce its vehicles.
Of its initial $529 million loan guarantee, Fisker has so far received $169 million in stimulus funds. That money was used for the Karma, a $100,000 hybrid sports sedan that was assembled in Finland and is being championed by the owner of the very first Karma — Leonardo DiCaprio. The company recently went public with its design for the less expensive Atlantic — but it is likely to be years before that car is ready for the showroom.
“This is just another example of the president’s record of sending jobs overseas when he promised stimulus efforts would create jobs here in America,” RNC spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski.
Priebus will also focus on the news that the president’s job council hasn’t met in six months as well as continuing to blast the president for his comments regarding entrepreneurs and Made in America businesses. On the campaign trail, Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen,” claiming it was the government — not individual ability, intellectual genius or business prowess — that made American companies grow.
The Romney campaign seized on the comments as evidence that the president is anti-capitalist. On the campaign stump Tuesday, Gov. Romney said to rising applause, “The idea, to say that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motor, that Papa John didn’t build Papa John Pizza, that Ray Kroc didn’t build McDonald’s, that Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft…To say something like that is not just foolishness, it’s insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America, and it’s wrong. President Obama attacks success and therefore under President Obama we have less success, and I will change that.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio