By on October 20, 2012

Retired Chrysler CEO and former Ford president Lee Iacocca has endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Iacocca is a political independent with a record of endorsing both Republicans and Democrats for the United States’ highest elected office. In his endorsement statement, which was also published as an op-ed piece in the Detroit News, Iacocca stressed his and Romney’s experience in “turnarounds”, America’s need for leadership, and his opinion that the future of the country depends on the results of this particular presidential election.

It’s safe to assume that the Romney campaign will see Iacocca’s endorsement as helpful in both the retired Chrysler chief’s native Pennsylvania and in Romney’s native Michigan. Both of those states have been considered to be solid electoral votes for President Obama but some recent polls have been trending towards Romney, with reports of his campaign starting to allocate funds for campaigning in those states, indicating that they might still be in play. Iacocca is widely admired in Michigan and his opinions still carry weight in the automotive community. Chrysler has its headquarters in Auburn Hills as well as a number of engine and assembly plants elsewhere in Michigan. The automaker is one of that state’s biggest employers.

It’s probably also safe to assume that the endorsement of Iacocca, who shepherded Chrysler through its first bailout, backed by federal loan guarantees in the early 1980s, is intended to sway automotive related voters who are favorable to Obama because of the more recent bailout of Chrysler and GM. That has to be assumed because Iacocca never explicitly references the 2009 bankruptcies and restructuring in his statement. In a 2010 interview with the Detroit News, Iacocca is on record as supporting the Obama administration’s actions to save GM and Chrysler, though he expressed reservations about how the deal was structured.

Though they’re probably accurate, most of those assumptions can’t be confirmed. At 88, Mr. Iacocca is enjoying his retirement and he no longer does press interviews or speeches. He also won’t be doing any public appearances with Romney or on his behalf.

Some of Iacocca’s reservations about how the bailouts were structured might have been about his not insignificant ego. According to Iacocca, Pres. Obama’s task force on restructuring the domestic auto industry asked for his advice but ignored his recommendations.  In that 2010 interview Iacocca said that the task force had “called me for my advice [in the spring of 2009], but they didn’t follow it too well.” Iacocca has also been critical of the number of Chrysler and GM  dealers culled in the bankruptcy (“they went too far”) and of micromanagement of those automakers by that same task force. Iacocca told the DetNews that at the time he told task force co-chairman Larry Summers, who was President Obama’s economic adviser, “Keep your hands off of (the auto companies). You can’t run a business out of Washington, D.C.” Iacocca had a personal stake in the bankruptcies. To reference Robert Farago’s question of Bob Lutz’s over his personal finances, Iacocca lost 80% of his Chrysler pension in the restructuring.

It’s possible that there’s more to this endorsement than politics. It might be personal. The men do know each other. Iacocca was a rising star at Ford at the same time that Mitt’s father, George Romney, was running American Motors and Iacocca has expressed admiration for the senior Romney. The social world of Detroit auto execs living in Grosse Pointe, Bloomfield Hills and Grosse Isle has always been incestuous and nepotistic never been that large and Iacocca socialized with George and Lenore Romney and has known Mitt since he was a boy.

In his 2008 book, Where Have All The Leaders Gone?, Iacocca expressed praise for Romney’s competence in business and governance as well as his personal character while expressing concerns about the former Mass. governor’s embrace of more conservative social issues. It appears that Iacocca’s concerns for the economic future of the United States now outweigh those reservations.

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122 Comments on “Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca Endorses Mitt Romney...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Obviously Iacocca’s biggest concern is the business climate and he is endorsing the guy he thinks will do the best job with the economy.

    • 0 avatar
      stuntmonkey

      “Business climate” and “best job with the economy” are not necessarily one and the same. The housing bubble was great for the business climate between 2001 and 2007, but it was terrible for the economy afterwards.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’m not saying Iacocca is right or wrong, I’m just stating his likely rationale.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        I agree that Iacocca probably had the business climate in mind when he endorsed Romney. But so did “Red Ink” Rick Wagoner when he gave money to Romney.

        But all this really is meaningless since in the race to the 270 electoral votes, deciding the winner of this presidential race boils down to only 106 counties in the 8 swing states.

        And unless you live in one of those 106 counties in one of those 8 swing states, your vote does not matter.

        In my case, New Mexico will go to Obama with 5 electoral votes. That’s why I voted for Gary Johnson, because he hasn’t got a snowball’s chance to elected. I wish NM had the “None of the candidates” option like Nevada does.

      • 0 avatar
        Pig_Iron

        Iacocca also endorsed Eaton…

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Highdesert,

        If more people were honest with themselves, and turned off the tv and radio ads, more people would be voting for Johnson.

        It’s a pity the ‘media’ isn’t doing their job. We’re all worse off for it.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        +1 highdesert. Johnson is right on.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Whoever gets in is gonna have to raise taxes.. they’re purposefully not debating it right now. Remember “Read my lips..?” Iacocca? He’s just palming for the old boys network.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Iacocca has been irrelevant for well over a decade. His legacy has been diminished by he himself not realizing this.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      Iacocca really jumped the shark when he appeared in that T.V. ad with Snoop Dog.

      Iacocca does not talk about this, but he is partially responsible for where Chrysler is today. Iacocca is rightfully proud of his role in saving Chrysler in the 1980’s. What he hopes we will forget is his role in Kirk Kerkorian’s failed hostile takeover of Chrysler in the 1990’s. This event played a huge role in driving Chrysler into the arms of Daimler which proved to be a disaster for both Chrysler and Daimler.

      For Shizzle, Iacozizzle!

      • 0 avatar
        daviel

        Ever since Lee privatized his retirement he has needed the money. Guys like him and Jack Welch are irrelevant. Their days as sages are long gone. They are old retired men lolling on the beach at happy hour complaining about the economy.

      • 0 avatar
        Richard Chen

        Iacozizzle was what, 2005? DCX merger in 1998, 2 years after he and KK were scheming their takeover?

        I’d say shark’s max altitude was back in the mid-1980’s, when Iacocca was meddling, I meant busy in the design studios with the soon-to-be introduced Dodge Dynasty, Chrysler New Yorker, Chrysler TC by Maserati, etc.

  • avatar
    Clarence

    This might be the funniest article I’ve ever read on TTAC. Pure comic genius.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    Is anyone going to change their vote because of what Lee Ioccaca thinks?

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Yes, I would not follow his advice either or did Chrysler’s catastrophic failure have nothing to do with him?

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    I’ll start considering Mitt as soon as he releases a full 12 years of tax returns like his father did.

    • 0 avatar
      RangerM

      Elections are about the future, not the past.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        What’s past is prologue. Or do you consider Obama’s and Romney’s past performance not applicable to the election?

      • 0 avatar
        RangerM

        I consider Obama’s past (as President) extremely applicable since he’s been virtually mum on his future plans.

        Romney’s past is less important, since he’s been fairly open about his intentions.

      • 0 avatar
        forraymond

        Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Trickle down does not trickle down. History proves it.

      • 0 avatar
        foojoo

        I’ll consider Mitt when he finally announces a legitimate tax plan. Cutting taxes and increasing military spending will balloon the deficit even more. He obviously has not worked out the details on his own tax plan because he asks random audience members during debates to pick numbers on the cap for deductions. He still has not made it clear which deductions and loopholes he plans on ending.

        If Romney wants to get serious and actually give some details on how he can make his tax plan work then I would consider voting for him. I won’t start seeing him as a viable candidate until he stops dodging questions pertaining to his tax plan.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Ranger,

        If the president is walking around with a suitcase full of nuclear codes, I want to know it all – college transcripts, tax returns, criminal records, if they inhaled, etc. To expect less is akin to accepting ignorance.

    • 0 avatar
      reclusive_in_nature

      I’ll vote for Obama when I get his college application and transcripts.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        I don’t know about you, but my recent tax returns say a lot more about my life now than do my college records from 30+ years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        Nobody asked for the prior 43 presidents school applications and transcripts. Some were probably school smart and others no so much. When you are the head of the Harvard law review by being voted in by a consensus of liberals and conservatives you have to have your academic chops.

        George Romney released 12 yrs of his tax returns and paid roughly 37% of his income in taxes at a time when we had to pay down WWII, Korea, Vietnam oh and that little Apollo program.

        Willard pays roughly 14% at a time when we finished 1 war are winding down the other after 11+ yrs. plus War on terror spending and 50+ yrs. of VA benefits.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Now that the birth certificate thing has lost steam, the next thing is college transcripts. I suppose that when you’ve become bored with that, you’ll want to see his marriage license or his AAA membership card. (“Whaddya mean that the president gets three free tows per year?!?!?!” That’s crony transportationism!!!)

        Personally, I’d like to see Mitt Romney’s dog license. Ry Cooder would probably like to see it, too:

        youtube.com/watch?v=TW_hE1jZWgY

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Why do you need that? He was President of the Harvard Law Review. I understand that conservatives in general seem to have this mass conspiracy theory that the whole intelligentsia worked together to get him elected. Lets face facts: Without using an IQ test but based on intellectual accomplishments the past two democratic presidents have been smarter than the last three republican presidents. They are highly accomplished intelligent members of society.

        If anything the complete gridlock caused by the conservative tea party movement in the Republican party stopped further governmental attempts at job creation. It’s frustrating because for two years the federal government has largely been paralyzed with the assumption they would be rewarded with control again after they tanked the economy with their un-tax and spend economic theory. If we were to continue the Bush/Romney tax plan we would inevitably have to restrict the government to just military spending while cutting all social safety net programs and bringing our standard of living to a 3rd world status.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law.

        No one cares about college transcripts – because it doesn’t show or hide any potential criminal acts. But a tax return does.

        Mitt’s hiding it for one or both of two reasons: 1.) Hidden overseas assets reported in 2010 under the amnesty program and/or 2.) He was tithing less than the “recommended” 10% to the Mormon church.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Xeranar: If anything the complete gridlock caused by the conservative tea party movement in the Republican party stopped further governmental attempts at job creation.

        It’s all the fault of Republicans that the President got the stimulus package that he wanted, and…it didn’t quite do what he said it would.

        Wait…it should have been bigger! Except, of course, that President Roosevelt’s spending packages constituted a larger portion of the country’s gross domestic product than President Obama’s did, and still failed to lift the country out of the Great Depression. The unemployment rate was still at 14 percent in 1940, or almost 10 points HIGHER than it was in 1928 (the last full year before the Great Crash). And that was with accelerating defense work in response to the war in Europe and Asia (which didn’t officially involve the United States at that point, but was making our government nervous).

    • 0 avatar
      Crosley

      Considering Obama’s career is that of an academic (big shock he’s been a failure) I consider his academic transcripts to be very relevant.

      We all know why Obama won’t release them, does anyone really believe if he had good grades, he’d be so secretive?

      Romney has released hundreds of pages of his tax returns, I’ve yet to see a single page of Obamas grades.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        So, wouldn’t you ask for reviews by his students, since he was a professor? Or maybe copies of his peer-reviewed journal articles? Neo-birtherism seems to be just as nonsensical as the original.

        Last I checked, Iacocca hasn’t been relevant for about 20 years. Unless you’re Snoop Dogg. Or whatever his new name is.

      • 0 avatar

        “peer reviewed journal articles”?

        You were serious when you wrote that? It wasn’t meant ironically or as a joke?

        The problem with asking for Mr. Obama’s peer-reviewed journal articles is that they don’t exist. Outside of his two autobiographies (’nuff said about his ego), the man has virtually no paper trail. I don’t think he’s ever published a legal paper in his life, not even when he was on the staff of the Harvard Law Review.

        I don’t think Mr. Obama has any more obligation to reveal his academic record than Mr. Romney has to release more than the legally required disclosure of his recent tax filings. However, since Obama’s supporters want us to believe the man is Einstein level brilliant, the smartest man to ever sit in the Oval Office, it would be nice to see some scores and grades.

        The two men are essentially applying for a job. In most cases of people seeking employment their academic records and transcripts are more relevant than their tax returns.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “You were serious when you wrote that? It wasn’t meant ironically or as a joke?”

        Serious in that it would make more sense than asking for his law school grades if people are trying to evaluate his “career [as] that of an academic” as Crosley said. (do you read what you’re responding to before you respond to it?)

        “However, since Obama’s supporters want us to believe the man is Einstein level brilliant, the smartest man to ever sit in the Oval Office, it would be nice to see some scores and grades.”

        Nice straw man. It’s all birther crap by another name from cheap hacks who don’t have anything substantive to say.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    I know that TTAC leans right on most issues, firmly friendly to globalization, anti-unionization on a strangely personal level. But really, Iacocca endorsing Romney after he advocated an unstructured bankruptcy that would have resulted in the collapse of the domestic auto industry is just unabashed egotism. It isn’t even a debate between two different kinds of protections/bailouts (which bailout is such a stupid charged word to begin with) it was a debate between letting them be dismantled by men like Romney who would have sold off the most profitable pieces to foreign interests and throwing away the rest or keeping a domestic industry.

    That being said the trends have finally reversed which I view largely as a pressure from the popular “unskewing” fad and the first debate drumming up major support from Romney’s base. I’m going with the idea that Obama will lose perhaps NC or Florida from his original electoral college count but he is going to win. He’ll also win the popular vote (which was never really in question except for a whopping 4-5 days because Gallup was so far off the mark that it gave journalists a bone to chew).

    Less than 3 weeks…but atleast Liberalism will prevail in the end. :3

    • 0 avatar

      “But really, Iacocca endorsing Romney after he advocated an unstructured bankruptcy that would have resulted in the collapse of the domestic auto industry is just unabashed egotism.”

      Romney never advocated an unstructured bankruptcy. As a matter of fact this is what he proposed:

      “The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing. A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs. It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs. The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

      In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”

      Clearly, advocating a “managed bankruptcy”, is exactly the opposite of advocating an unstructured bankruptcy. Whether or not the credit markets in late 2008 and early 2009 would have provided financing with just loan guarantees from the Feds in not clear, but reading through Romney’s 2008 op-ed in the NYT it’s impossible for a rational person to say that he was advocating an unstructured bankruptcy and a liquidation of GM and Chrysler.

      BTW, had GM and Chrysler gone through normal bankruptcies, the UAW would have taken a 26.5 billion dollar haircut. Instead, the union, unlike any other unsecured creditors, received preferential treatment and preferential equity in the company. That $26.5 billion was effectively a subsidy by taxpayers to the UAW. It exceeds the estimated $23 billion Treasury would lose if it sold off the government’s share of GM today.

      Had the Obama administration’s task force on restructuring the auto industry not given the UAW preferential treatment, the bailout would actually be breaking even or profitable.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Here’s the original Mitt Romney op-ed as published in the New York Times. The NYT picked the “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” title, not Romney.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?ex=1384837200&en=3616fe7f95dd6a7b&ei=5124&partner=digg&exprod=digg&_r=0

      He’s clearly advocating a restructuring of GM and Chrysler under Chapter 11 rules to make them into profitable businesses, not liquidation.

      “I know that TTAC leans right on most issues, firmly friendly to globalization, anti-unionization on a strangely personal level.”

      Xeraner, the people who comment on TTAC are not so much anti-union as they are pro-car. They are also more likely to be white-collar employees of the auto industry who have to work around cost constraints and frustrating UAW work rules than to be blue collar employees who benefit from the union contracts. I’ve heard stories of engineers carrying enormous brief cases and document tubes so they can move parts around R&D facilities without waiting on union “help”. Anyone with eyes could have seen some of the compromises domestic car manufacturers have had to make to pull thousands of dollars of cost out UAW built cars. Frustrating to see the same manufacturers who made collectable cars up through the early 70s now making boring crappy cars.

      I predict that Mitt Romney will win the popular vote. The anti-Obama voters are much more self-motivated to show up and vote than Obama voters. I believe that endorsements like this one from Lee Iacocca are evidence that a preference cascade for Romney is building as people feel comfortable making their support public.
      http://www.ideasinactiontv.com/tcs_daily/2002/03/patriotism-and-preferences.html
      What’s not clear is if Team Obama can get enough of their supporters to the polls to win Ohio and Iowa and not lose Wisconsin.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Ross Perot also endorsed Romney. Seems he knew the jig was up at GM before most.

    Funny, no President with O’s poor re-elect numbers at this point has ever won. Ever. Many experts see a ceiling of 47% for O.

    Before R’s poll rise, U of Colorado predicted easy win:
    http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2012/10/04/updated-election-forecasting-model-still-points-romney-win-university

    Also:

    According to the latest Gallup survey, Mitt Romney is polling 51% of likely voters, O 45%. At this point in the race R is ahead of:

    Where Jimmy Carter was in 1976 (47%)

    Where Ronald Reagan was in 1980 (39% — Carter was six points up)

    Where George H.W. Bush was in 1988 (50%)

    Where Bill Clinton was in 1992 (40%)

    Where George W. Bush was in 2000 (48%)

    Where Barack Obama was in 2008 (49%)

    Yet at this point O has greatly outspent R. From now on, especially in swing states, R will greatly outspend O.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Does this mean, if Romney is elected, we can be certain to see a Code 130R Chevrolet produced by “Government Motors” as an homage to the Iacocca Mustang, just as Ford eschews the retro look for Eurothrash?

  • avatar
    Angus McClure

    I appreciate this article for the engineering insight it provided. It’s not always that you quote an expert on state of the art vehicles from the 1970’s. What….oh, never mind.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Former GM CEO Rick Wagoner donated $2100 to Romney’s 2008 campaign. Oh, the irony…

    GM also has its own PAC. In this election cycle, 68% of the money is going to Republican candidates:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00076810&cycle=2012

    As Lee Iacocca might have once said, “If you can find a better vote, buy it.”

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      Thats what a lot of folks dont understand. Corporate PAC’s dont go 100% Republican like Union PAC’s go 100% Democratic. About 1/3 goes to the Dems. In spite of pro/anti business stereotyping of the two major parties, some industries do prefer Democrats in power. Also, to be more cynical here, if that is possible, you dont want to piss off the winning side no matter who it is.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Two people I wouldn’t want to have a beer with: Lee Iacocca and Jack Welch. Make that three: Mittens. Actually, I can think of others, but that’ll do for now.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I often wonder why any celebs , ex-CEOs , or other has-been big shots think anyone would care who they endorse for President . It ‘s not like Roseanne Barr or whoever have any particular insights or even any particular knowledge of anything . Sometimes I think their endorsements even backfire . I often thought that had it not been for the condescending attitude of Hollywood notables toward flyover America perhaps awful W. would not have been reelected in 2004 . Crude comments by Whoopi Goldberg comparing Bush to pubic hair , pompous speeches by no-talent Michael Moore probably helped W more than hurt . Didn’t hurt that his opponent was an out- of -touch gaffe prone rich boy mediocre Massachusetts pol with no ideas who refused to release his tax returns . Hmm maybe history does repeat itself . My favorite was egomaniacal Alec Baldwin threatening to leave the country if Bush was reelected . Might have been worth the second term if Baldwin had actually followed thru on it .

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    Well, keep in mind that Iacocca has been close to Romney for years, long before the latter even got into politics, and that he and Mitt’s father, George Romney, were quite close.

    When one of your friends is running for president, it seems pretty obvious that you’re going to endorse him. The actual politics are secondary.

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    Elderly, rich, out of touch, white guy endorses Romney. It’s wasn’t a handout when I got it (shakes fist.) Who’s surprised? Who cares?

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      As he drives along under the speed limit in the left lane with the signal on in his Aires K-Car

    • 0 avatar

      Play the race card much? Jeez, considering that many, perhaps most, of the 95% of blacks who voted for Obama in 2008 did so at least in part because of the man’s color, the kind of blindered racialism exhibited in your comment is rather brazen.

      Actually, there is measurable discontent among blacks regarding Obama. He’ll still get an overwhelming majority of black votes, just as every Democrat gets a majority of Jewish votes (though some polling indicates that it might drop to Carter/Reagan (60/40) levels), but the way the math works out, if a Democrat doesn’t get 90% of the black vote, it’s hard for him or her to get elected president. That’s why the race card gets played, to keep blacks on the Democratic plantation.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadFlorist

        “Race” is more than just the word that precedes “card.” Democrats may be of little help to black people, but in a two party system, the party that is more overtly hostile to nonwhite nonstraight interests polls poorly among nonwhite nonstraight people. It’s a feature, not a bug. There are many straight white votes to be had through dog whistle politics, immigrant bashing, gay bashing and mass criminalization of black people through the racist War on Drugs. On the flipside, while people can be convinced to vote for their own oppression, we can hardly be surprised when they decline.

      • 0 avatar

        “nonwhite nonstraight”

        You actually believe that stuff?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @Ronnie Schreiber:

        The Republicans have mounted an effort to increase the amount of legal discrimination faced by a member of my family who is a homosexual. That kind of thing turns straight white family man like myself into a liberal, and for pretty much the reasons that DeadFlorist mentioned.

        I was once a conservative, and grew up in that culture helping my family run a small business. But was kicked out of the political party over a short list of resolvable issues. I certainly do hear the dog-whistles, when I care to listen.

        P.S. My political temperament is that of a populist-libertarian. Which is why I can switch from conservative to liberal, depending on how a particular party’s platform has been twisted and buckled by its caretakers.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Schreiber: “You actually believe that stuff?”

        I certainly believe it. I have gay friends and the GOP establishment is pandering to narrow-minded, judgemental, discriminatory a-holes, who only feel righteous when they’re pointing out someone else’s sins and the GOP establishment is doing it for political gain.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        DeadFlorist: There are many straight white votes to be had through dog whistle politics, immigrant bashing, gay bashing and mass criminalization of black people through the racist War on Drugs.

        And Democrats don’t have their own, very special, set of dog whistles?

        Anyone who believes otherwise just fell off the turnip truck.

        It might help to actually get out and talk to some African-Americans. You’ll find a fair amount of anti-immigrant sentiment, not to mention anti-Hispanic sentiment.

        I know, as my wife works with several African-Americans. She’d fall on the floor, laughing hysterically, if I showed her your comments.

        Yet, these African-Americans still vote en masse for Democrats. Of course, she lives – and works – in the real world, something I highly recommend.

        For that matter, Proposition 8 passed in California even though Barack Obama carried the state in the presidential election. (Proposition 8 was on the ballot for that election). California is hardly a red state.

        Do you really believe that only white, conservative, evangelical voters supported it? If that was the case, then why didn’t John McCain carry the state in the presidential election?

        There are disparities in sentencing for various drugs because several African-American leaders and legislators demanded them in the 1980s, in reaction to the crack cocaine epidemic that was sweeping through urban areas at that time.

        And more African-Americans are incarcerated because…drumroll please…they commit more crimes. African-Americans, for example, commit murder at roughly seven times the rate of whites and Asians. (They largely kill other African-Americans.)

        But wait, I’m sure that the hideous Fox News has convinced the FBI to fudge the official crime statistics.

        Or are the evil Koch Brothers traveling the nation, handing out thousands of dollars to crime victims so that they name an African-American as the perpetrator instead of a white person or an Asian?

        Inquiring minds want to know!

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Remember, only white people can be racist.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        The other side of your comment about African Americans “on the Democratic plantation” and playing the race card ignores the cheap wedge politics the Republicans have been using to woo white voters in the old “Southern Strategy”.

        I, for one, would love to see the Republican Party sincerely woo black voters with solid policy positions rather than insult them. African Americans, culturally, are actually fairly conservative. They have high rates of church attendence. They preach self-reliance. Sounds like a very natural constituency for Republicans, right?

        Unfortunately, for the last 3-4 decades, the GOP has pretty much written the black vote off. Which, cynically speaking, has been successful for them for the last 30 years, more or less. Problem is, that in the process, the national GOP has, whether by design or accident, shot themselves in the foot even more by alienating Latinos. They, too could be attracted to the GOP by appealing to traditional family values and religion.

        Take my state, California. Used to be pretty competitive in national and state races until Pete Wilson, under pressure for reelection as governor, went after immigrants and Hispanics in his 1994 reelection campaign. He won reelection but lost the war – California has been a solid D state on a statewide and national elections since. It didn’t have to be that way.

        I guess what I’m saying is that why doesn’t the GOP actively vy for the black vote by appealing to them on policy issues? They do that with Jewish voters on trying to out-do the Dems on Israel policy, even though Jewish voters these days vote 70-75%
        Democratic and account for just 2% of the electorate nationally.

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    Are we going to see an endorsement from someone for Obama or has this turned into another FOX news breitbart limbaugh echo chamber?

    • 0 avatar
      vaujot

      I am sure, if a former or current executive from the automotive industry endorses Obama, this site will report it.

      • 0 avatar
        panzerfaust

        Yeah, really, where are the endoursements from the GM and Ford suits past and present? And if they had, would it matter?

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        Not to pile on, but this is Iococca we are talking about. Arguably more significant within the industry than the Smiths (no relation), Ford the ?th, or even Maximum Bob. On a website called “The Truth About Cars” why wouldn’t it be news if he had come out with an endorsement of Obama or an endorsement of neither?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “On a website called “The Truth About Cars” why wouldn’t it be news if he had come out with an endorsement of Obama or an endorsement of neither?”

        I don’t recall reading the “Marchionne endorses no one” headline around here. Did you?

        In this case, this says more about the author than it does about the website. Mr. Schreiber is always looking for an opportunity to pitch conservative politics. Any excuse will do.

        Campaign contributions are a matter of public record. If you look up Iacocca’s, then you will see that most of his donations have gone to Republicans, few to Democrats. Is it really a shock (or much of a story) that a guy with a history of supporting Republican candidates is also supporting the current Republican candidate?

    • 0 avatar

      Iacocca’s endorsement of Romney is newsworthy, particularly because Iacocca got government help to rescue Chrysler and has supported the Obama administration’s 2009 bailout of GM & Chrysler. The post is balanced and even includes earlier criticism by Iacocca of Romney’s supposed shift to the right.

      The Detroit Free Press, not exactly a conservative newspaper, ran a story on the endorsement as well. Do you accuse them of being part of the right wing echo chamber. By the way, isn’t your use of the term “echo chamber” somewhat ironic in light of how the term “right wing echo chamber” has proliferated amongst left wing pundits? Just who is echoing?

      If another current or retired auto executive of Iacocca’s stature endorses President Obama, I’ll be happy to post on it.

      FWIW, I don’t get Fox News on my TV service. I also don’t regularly listen to Rush Limbaugh (but admire his mastery of the medium). I understand that you believe that nobody on the conservative or libertarian side of things actually thinks for themselves, but I don’t need talk radio to inform me about politics any more than I need it to inform me about the world of cars.

      Also, Detroit has a very active sports scene. You might have noticed, while the national sports media was going on and on about the Yankee’s “collapse” (sort of the way the national political media covered the first presidential debate), the Detroit Tigers are in the World Series. The Detroit Red Wings have been in the NHL playoffs for many years in a row, winning a number of championships. The Pistons won just a few years ago and even the Lions aren’t terrible anymore. Then there’s Michigan and Michigan State for college sports. When Rush is on the air, I’m more likely to be listening to sports radio. If I do listen to conservative radio during Rush’s slot, I’ll be listening to Dennis Miller and Dennis Prager. I’ve never been personally a fan of Limbaugh’s bombastic style, but the man has been successful.

      As for the dearly departed Breitbart, I can’t say that Andrew was a good friend, but we spoke once or twice and I had his phone number because he was interested in some automotive content on his websites. He was, however, a kindred spirit, a delightful prankster, and the bile you have for him shows just how much he had your number. I don’t know if anyone understands how modern media works as well as Andy did. A fearless warrior who was hated because he presented the left in its unvarnished reality.

      The Pavlovian response to words like “Breitbart”, “Limbaugh”, and “Palin” would almost be amusing if those frothing at the mouth didn’t currently have their hands on the levers of government and much of the media.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        I dunno, RS, this seems shamefully close to a Trolling blog. I’ll swallow your argument because I trust in this site, but with a huge helping of salt. It just doesn’t have any real relevance to the TTAC other than to generate the most viral responses.

      • 0 avatar

        dolorean,

        I’m not naive. When I saw the news about the endorsement I knew that if I posted something about it, there would likely be some intemperate political comments but I decided that it was still newsworthy so I wrote it up and submitted it. The fact that you read it means that a TTAC editor agreed that it was newsworthy.

        Was the Detroit Free Press trolling when it published an article on Iacocca’s endorsement of Romney?

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Never thought of you as naive, my friend. You’re in the business of providing content worthy of a tough blogosphere. Pretty sure TTAC hadn’t posted this type of post in 2008’s election. I’m assuming that the DFP printed the article for the same reason; to generate Editorial response. Still has little to do with TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        JD-Shifty

        Andrew Breitbart was a rotten scumbag who attracted the same sort of people as an audience. here’s your sign.

      • 0 avatar

        JD-Shifty,

        It’s rather humorous to watch Andrew get your goat from the grave. Show us some more of that famed civility.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        While I agree that Breitbart understood modern media exceptionally well, describing his work as presenting the left in its unvarnished reality is stunning in its failure to admit how unethically his work subverted reality. The carefully editted Shirley Sherrod tape was unvarnished? Or his protege O’Keefe’s editting of his secret NPR video was unvarnished? I think that Breitbart and his ilk have your number every bit as much as they have JD_Shifty’s number.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        You don’t need to be apologetic. A little political debate, even loosely based on cars, never hurt anyone. Except for those with hard partisan minds. Their heads exploded.

        But thats fine.

  • avatar
    ajla

    But what is his feeling on gay bees?

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Well, if he were a gay bee, I suppose he would probably find another gay bee attractive, especially if said bee where to buy a Ram van.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      “What’s a gay bee?”

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “What’s a gay bee?”

        I’m even more confused, because I’ve taken a beekeeping class.

        I can assure you that any gay male bees would just be shoved out of the hive in the fall for being useless — just like the rest of the rest of the drones. Male bees die when they mate, and the rest of the bees don’t take kindly to the loser-dudes lazing around and mooching honey all winter.

        The worker bees are all female-eunuchs. Lesbian worker bees probably wouldn’t even be noticed, just so long as they keep bringing home that sweet sweet nectar and pollen. Just like the rest of the worker bees who toil to serve their queen and to generally keep the hive alive…

        A lesbian queen bee might not take her mating flight, and so would probably disappear unnoticed. Queen bees mate with several drones during one flight, and then they’re done mating for the rest of their lives; the jokes are obvious, and she lays a lot of eggs over the next couple of years.

        What was the question again? Who cares, bees are interesting!

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The “gay bee” line was a joke from a 1989 Saturday Night Live sketch where Phil Hartman played Lee Iacocca.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        Jon Lovitz played Harvey Fierstein. He just wanted to be loved, is that so wrong?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        That was very informatiive, Luke.

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        I’ve always called the offspring/children of the LGBT community gaybies.

  • avatar

    I blame Millard Fillmore.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Iacocca is actually a lifelong Democrat that endorsed John Kerry in 2004 for President.

    I think it’s a big endorsement for people that both work in and follow the car industry.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    If he can bring more voters to their senses…more power to him!

  • avatar
    shaker

    What’s the difference between a “Robber Baron” and a “Captain of Industry”?

    Workers with a voice.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      +1000

    • 0 avatar

      What about human nature convinces you that workers are any more moral than business owners? People are people. You can find corruption and greed on both sides of the table. Back before the public school curriculum was dumbed down, organized by labor, and slanted to the left, in junior high when teaching about politics they used to teach how to identify forms or propaganda and when teaching about the labor movement they’d teach about excesses of organized labor like featherbedding. Seriously, who expects a member of a teachers union to say anything negative about organized labor? Who expects a teacher that has already politicized her classroom to teach her students how to identify propaganda?

      My automotive history question for you is what was the origin of the 8 hour workday and 5 day workweek? Hint: Organized labor and workers with a voice had nothing to do with it.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        RS, Shaker is not making a moral judgment of the Executive Class. He simply stated the obvious, which so many executives seem to miss. You can’t have Captains of Industry without a solid working class that feels it has some say in the business. When you attack your work force as ‘overpaid socialists sacking the company’ whilst ignoring the massive abuses of power such as telling your workers they must vote for Mittens or they lose their jobs and ignoring Gummint regulations to eek out .05% more profit with the result of soaring black-lung disease that you refuse to pay for under the company insurance (again for profits), you lose your exulted status of moral superiority. Attacking teachers in a subjective rant doesn’t seem to qualify either; I’ve known plenty who defended Reagan’s Trickle-Down policy and have had right-wing views of Union labor.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @RS: “What about human nature convinces you that workers are any more moral than business owners?”

        It’s more about the balance of power between an individual and the thousands of lives that they affect. It’s more about the balance of power than about the moral character of the individual people involved.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        It’s not about “morality,” it’s about what is the best in the LONG TERM for the company. Which means, how will the company continue to make money for shareholders by selling products? That is why companies exist. Companies are not social-welfare organizations designed to provide high-paying jobs to anyone who wants one.

        I’ve seen nothing that proves that workers are any more likely to have the company’s long-term views at heart than most of management. If anything, based on experience, workers tend to be VERY parochial and take the short-term view. They often have little, if any, understanding of the real competitive and regulatory forces shaping the industries in which their employer must compete.

        Ensuring a company’s survival at times requires leadership to take steps that have union/workers/their supporters howling with outrage – closing plants, for example.

        During the severe 1980-82 recession, the Ford Motor Company closed several plants and laid off thousands of workers and executives. Remember, those were the days BEFORE the infamous Jobs Bank.

        If you were laid off from a blue-collar job at that time, you collected unemployment benefits and prayed that you were called back to your old job, or found a new one with comparable pay and benefits.

        Even in 1980-82, it was unlikely that a blue-collar Ford worker was going to find a job with comparable pay and benefits at another employer. Many of those workers never went back to Ford.

        But, when the market rebounded in 1983-88, Ford was able to make the same number of vehicles it had in 1978 with fewer workers and factories. The result? Dividends for stockholders (and not just rich people or members of the Ford Family), profits that, by 1987, had surpassed those reported by GM, and generous profit-sharing checks for those blue-collar employees still with the company.

        The key is that, every now and then, companies get lucky and find a leader who is able to rally the reluctant troops to make the painful changes necessary for survival. Iacocca was able to do that for Chrysler in 1979-81. His virtuoso performance convinced a reluctant federal government to approve the loan guarantees and encouraged the UAW, suppliers and creditors to make sacrifices. (He stayed too long at Chrysler, but that is another chapter to his story.)

        Today Alan Mulally, with William Clay Ford, Jr. working quietly with the UAW, was able to get Ford employees on board with the changes needed to be made to help the company survive.

        GM’s biggest problem was that it never had an Iacocca or Mulally to spearhead the necessary changes. Even then, Rick Wagoner wasn’t “immoral,” just parochial and a touch arrogant. And it’s not like the union was clamoring for him to lead the way for change.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Not to turn this discussion political (haha), but the Salt Lake City Tribune (in the heart of Mormon Utah, started and run by…Mormons) yesterday endorsed Obama. That blew me away.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/opinion/55019844-82/romney-obama-state-president.html.csp

    • 0 avatar

      Perhaps the corporate owner of that local printed media outlet is located far away where the incredible amount of influence that Mormonism exerts on many aspects of life within Utah does not male itself felt.

      Ah Hah!!!! Went to the site and found this:

      Our network of news media companies spans the entire United States with our footprint influencing and impacting major urban markets. The MediaNews Group media network includes 11 states: California, Utah, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Our 57 major newspapers create a combined daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 2.3 million and 2.5 million, respectively. Each of our newspapers maintains a website focused on local news content. These websites are hosted by MediaNews Group Interactive, our new media division. MediaNews Group provides programming and operational services for TV and radio stations licensed to the Affiliated Media, Inc. FCC Trust.

      What is sad is the HUGE amount of influence the media, especially Television, has upon the masses of citizen-sheep with so many of those entities guided by emotion rather than logic and/or rationality.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        The media consolidation (that Bush supported) has had a profound impact on the quality of news reporting and analysis.

        We are all much worse off for having fewer voices.

        It will only be when the power goes out and we can’t recharge our iWhatevers that people might actually start paying attention.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Not really. SLT isn’t run by Mormons – it’s a failed paper that just emerged from bankruptcy and is run by a hedge fund Denver-based group.

      And its endorsement means less than nothing. In 2008 it endorsed O and it was just about his worst defeat – he got 34% and will do even worse this time. Seems SLT is doubling down on its mistake, unlike many other papers.

      Many suspect that Romney’s victory will be so lopsided in Utah that a black woman named Love will defeat the only Dem in the state’s delegation.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        It may help that Mia Love’s favorite economist is Friedrich Hayek, not Keynes or Krugman. Her candidacy has attracted national attention and dollars.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        Well, Salt Lake City is a little bit different than the rest of the state. You might say it is a purplish spot in a solidly red state. Ever heard of Rocky Anderson? He served as SLC’s mayor, and was open about his support for LGBT equality, disdain for George W. Bush (called for his impeachment) and other positions that are considered to be “liberal”. And he got re-elected, too!

  • avatar
    Seminole 95

    Well said Ronnie.

  • avatar
    50merc

    I’m pretty confident that if Obama ever released his transcripts (or they were leaked, as has happened with Republicans), they will show he got high grades. But believe it or not, “A” grades and graduating with honors is actually commonplace in ivy league colleges. It is such things as the mysteries of his admission to elite schools, whether he applied as a foreign student, and his getting the Law Review position despite an absence of publication that call for examination.

    As for the birth certificate, is your own the product of Photoshop like the one on the White House website? Was your social security number issued from a state in which you never resided? Obama is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Having commented earlier, I have been following the more recent ones with interest. My conclusion is that these are mostly quite fascinating posts, and from all sides of the political spectrum too. Yes, there’s a bit of snark, and also a few whacko screeds, but largely this is thoughtful commentary. Interesting issues have been raised by some, and they’re not always tangential to the site’s mission. So, maybe not a steady diet of this stuff, but it does stir the pot a bit, especially before this big election.

  • avatar
    Zoom

    Come on TTAC, just endorse Romney already and get it over with. You know you want to.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Ronnie, since this has been one of the more interesting reactions to an article in a while, I thought I’d go back and reread the piece to find what I was perhaps expecting, which was that this had a Republican or right-leaning slant. While I’m largely of the opposite political persuasion, my feeling is that your article was fair and balanced (and I don’t mean that to be cute). I agree with you that his endorsing Romney was TTAC newsworthy, especially since you bring up the additional points about Iacocca having endorsed Dems in the past, as well as that this could be personal too (what with these guys’ egoes). So I’d say, good job on a prickly subject.

    • 0 avatar
      Angus McClure

      Thats a good take Jeff and I think you are spot on. My politics probably don’t often agree with yours. I am generally not in agreement with republicans but am strongly anti democrat. I simply don’t like the party system but think we are probably stuck. I for sure don’t have a better alternative. I agree that the article was fair.

      My problem is that as a person who is getting older, I absolutely hate to see my country polarized the way it is right now. I look forward to the end of this election process, hope there isn’t too much fraud, and am prepared to accept whoever is elected. I read the car sites for relief from the political garbage and in this article I did not find it.

      I also wanted to comment that the B&B were generally reasonably restrained. I expected to see Koolaid dripping from my computer and I did see some. Chuchill said that a young man who wasn’t liberal had no heart and an old man who wasn’t conservative had no brain. I think I can guess the age of most commenters and TTAC has quite a spread. I guess we are stuck for the next couple weeks.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Anyone who would express genuine surprise that Lee Iacocca would support Republicans just hasn’t done his homework.

      Likewise, anyone who would be surprised that the auto industry tends to fund Republican candidates and interests has been asleep at the research wheel. But people who are overly eager to express their opinions tend not to bother with research when their minds were already made up before they started.

  • avatar
    Zombo

    I thought this ancient fossil Ike-a-Dizzle was long gone from being relevant ? Fat cats like this guy just harden my resolve to write in Ron Paul or vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson in a system giving one more choice than a dictatorship . Sixteen trillion in debt and growing and neither of the bums running plans on reducing any of that , just some vague promise of reducing the growth . Mittens must have promised an ambassadorship to this fool for his endorsement .

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSrGx2I2K18

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    Lee Iacocca is probably also against govt bailouts *snicker*

  • avatar
    Maintainer

    This went a weird direction.
    I remember when Oprah had Obama on her show waaay back when he was running for Senate.
    For President I voted for him. I was Union at the time and he, as a Dem, was THE guy to vote for.
    Now? I’m not Union anymore. I’ll take Mitt over empty promises and an extended Unemployment check.

    There is a chance Lee has it right.

  • avatar
    Clarence

    The original article is bad enough, but Ronnie Schreiber’s follow-up comments are straight out of right-wing talk radio. I think this sort of writing is an insult to the great work of Sanjeev, Steve Lang, Karesh, Baruth and the other guys who are doing something special here at TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      I listen to talk radio, but ‘my guy’ voted for Obama. But I guess I’m just another wing nut, huh?

      This is the biggest challenge with political discussions – not plastering the other side as knuckle-headed, knuckling dragging drones. They’re just like you, but came to different conclusions.

      You should realize you are part of the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      starlightmica

      TTAC ran low on funding, some writers stuck it out including the guys you mentioned. Others moved onto destinations such as C&D and MT, but a void needed to be filled.

      Commenter Bozoer Rebbe stepped up and became a writer. Rest is history.

  • avatar

    choosing between Lucifer and Satan really isn’t a choice… neither one of these bankster backed rat bastards will give a damn if your kid gets killed serving their globalist agenda.

    • 0 avatar
      Zombo

      Yep George Carlin had it pegged years ago about the illusion of choice the owners of this country give the people on election day . No real choice they get what they want no matter which one of their candidates win and everyone else gets the shaft !

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        But the outcome of each election results in America getting exactly what it deserves! In our system, the electoral majority wins and winner takes all.

        It’s not the popular vote that elects a president. If the popular vote counted, Al Gore would have won in 2000.

        The whole system is rigged and this time around only the votes from 106 counties in eight swing states matter.

        The rest of us might as well have stayed home because their votes didn’t matter and the vote of their representatives are a foregone conclusion.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        Exactly. Like daylight savings time and the cotton gin, the electoral college has outlived its usefulness.

        It won’t change, but it ought to be.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Of all, this has to be the most hypocritical endorsement i’ve seen yet this election. Iacocca developed the model for governemt bailouts of automakers here in NA.

    That said, Mr. Iacocca is also a rather shrewd business man, and has been for a significant part of his life. Maybe he ‘ran the numbers’ and reckoned that the US (and thus the world’s) economy doesn’t survive an additional 4 years with Obamas economic policies in place.

    Hey trolls, heard this one on Limbaugh today – he said a little birdy in the White House said Obama intends to erase all US debt in a second term. THAT should make China happy…. And the left says R wants WWIII….

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The original Chrysler bailout was a far different beast from the recent bailouts of GM and Chrysler.

      Chrysler never declared bankruptcy in 1980-81. The federal government agreed to guarantee any loans extended to the company. This reassured lenders who otherwise would never have extended money to Chrysler, as it represented a terrible risk. (The company was functionally bankrupt by the middle of 1980, but several suppliers agreed to not demand payment.)

      The federal government, however, never made a direct cash infusion to Chrysler.

      In exchange for those loan guarantees, the UAW, suppliers and creditors all made real sacrifices. Current UAW members, for example, took actual pay cuts – not reductions in the rate paid to future hires (as was the case with the current GM and Chrysler bailouts). Iacocca himself took a $1 annual salary until the company was profitable.

      The result was that Chrysler did recover by 1982, and was profitable by 1983. The federal government actually made money on the whole deal, as, if I recall correctly, it held an option to buy Chrysler stock, which increased greatly in value from 1980 until 1983.

  • avatar
    MrBostn

    I’ve never voted in a presidential election. Being from MA it’s an automatic 11 electorals for the D candidate.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    @ajla:

    As Glenn Beck once said…’The bees know’….:)


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