If a conservative or Republican uttered the nonsense to be revealed shortly, we'd justifiably never hear the end of it on the late-night comedy shows and elsewhere. As it is, former car czar Steve Rattner's "creative" term for fibbing has and probably will continue to get little coverage outside of Detroit.
Rattner's risible rendition of reality spewed forth before he spoke at a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit District conference. Here are excerpts from the coverage by the Detroit News's Robert Snell (HT Laura Ingraham), with help from David "I think Toyota bragged about avoiding safety recalls, so they did" Shepardson (bolds are mine):
General Motors Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Ed Whitacre may have stretched the truth in a commercial saying the automaker had repaid its federal obligations, former autos czar Steve Rattner said today.
GM "may have slightly elasticized the reality of things," Rattner told reporters ahead of a speech today.
But he also praised Whitacre. "We should all wake up and thank God we have him. The guy's a hero," Rattner said.
Rattner said GM has signaled to the market that it will report a profit for the first quarter next week.
GM touted its repayment of $6.7 billion in federal loans -- but downplayed the fact that the taxpayers are still on the hook for $43 billion in aid that was swapped for a 61 percent majority stake in GM.
Downplayed? How about "didn't mention"? Anyway, let's resume:
Rattner, who was President Barack Obama's auto czar last year, returned to Detroit on Monday a year after Chrysler's bankruptcy filing, and talked about why the government saved the auto industry.
Rattner, who is writing a book on his work as auto czar due out in October, touted progress that GM and Chrysler have made following the government's controversial $62 billion bailout.
Funny, the bailout price tag cited by the Time a year ago was "$80 billion and Growing" to a possible $100 billion. What happened? And from what I can tell, Time's tally doesn't even include anywhere near all of the potential losses at GMAC, which, at $17.29 billion and counting, is turning into a miniaturized version of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac sinkhole.
As to GM's first quarter profit:
As to Steve Rattner's "creative" new term "elasticized":
Really, Dennis? Whitacre was perfectly willing to talk about a "bailout paid in full" when there wasn't one.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.