From Daniel Howes:
Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported in the dark days of late 2008, in early ’09 and again when the ad flap arose.
Is This Blog On? weighs in:
You’re not allowed, in Obama’s America, to disparage the Auto bailout, or -indirectly – Obama. Especially during the election cycle.
But Ford is hardly a puritan when it comes to government “assistance” and “Chris” may not have fully understood this when he bought his new truck from the automaker:
Howes makes the point:
Whatever the politics, the ad kerfuffle exposes two opposed realities existing simultaneously for Ford:
First, a sizable cadre of current and would-be customers oppose the notion of taxpayer bailouts for automakers, whatever the economic costs to the industrial Midwest and the nation of letting them collapse. Meaning there’s an advantage Ford can press to remind folks that it didn’t receive direct payouts from Treasury.
Second is that Ford supported the bailouts before Congress, in public statements and still does today, despite the recurring snarkiness you hear around its offices in Dearborn that it “didn’t take the money.”
No, it didn’t. But Ford did seek a line of credit from the feds, borrowed billions under a government program to “retool” its plants and effectively failed first. That’s why it recruited a superstar CEO from Boeing Co. and gave him some $23 billion in borrowed money to save the Blue Oval from bankruptcy.
Or it would have taken the money, too.