December 22, 2008

From Late Edition Dec. 21, 2008. Ed Rollins slaps Bush pretty hard for the damage he's already done to our economy.

BLITZER: David Gergen, did President Bush do the right thing by bailing out Chrysler and GM?

GERGEN: Yes. He had backed himself into a corner and had to act and I think Dick Cheney put it well when he said had Bush had not done this, he would have been remembered as the Herbert Hoover of his era.

And it was unfortunate they had to come to this thing. But the real point is here, he's not only been forced to do that, but he has punted this to Barack Obama. Obama now faces a ton of huge decisions in the first 90 days of his presidency. BLITZER: There's no doubt, James, that he did punt in effect because by March 31st, if it doesn't look like it's working out, it is all going to be up to the president-elect and the new Congress to decide what to do.

CARVILLE: They're going to run out of money before March 31st. And right now, auto sales, everybody, doesn't matter, not just American carmakers, Japanese or European carmakers also are down 35, 40 percent. I don't think anybody thinks that is going to change between now and March and David is right, they have the ball and they're going to have to figure out what to do with this and it's going to be quick, very quick.

BLITZER: So Ed Rollins, the $14 or $17 billion in this initial bridge loan as it's called, that could escalate. That could go up to a lot more money given the overall state of the economy and the low demand for new cars right now.

ROLLINS: I think there's no question if you're going to try to save this industry, which is an industry in real problems, you are going to have a lot more money that is going to be thrown at him. I think that's a lot of the objections of the Republicans.

I think the problem the president made here is he let it go to Congress. The Congress, his own party, basically, didn't want it. There's a few weeks before the new president comes in and this president is trying to be relevant. He doesn't want to be Herbert Hoover, he is going to be Herbert Hoover. I don't care what he says, or what Dick Cheney says, this president has damaged this economy and is going to go out with a tarnished record. I think the critical thing here is let the new Congress take charge and let the new president take charge and move it forward. Unfortunately, it is on their watch and it is a mess.

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