Video: DWS flummoxed on public-equity layoffs in auto industry

posted at 12:41 pm on May 25, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

It’s fair to say that The Blaze and CNN contributor Will Cain wins the Internet today.  When pressed on CNN to answer charges of hypocrisy for Barack Obama’s attack on Mitt Romney for his record at Bain Capital as a private-equity executive while actively fundraising from the same industry — in fact, fundraising from the same company, with a Bain Capital exec as a bundler — DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz insists that the comparison isn’t just apples to oranges, it’s “apples to coconuts.”  Taking money from private-equity firms isn’t at all the same as voting for someone who thinks that rescuing companies involves laying off a whole bunch of people.

That’s where Will makes the real “apples to apples” comparison, which Wasserman Schultz refuses to answer, via Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard:

Yet a little later in the interview she was stumped. “Let’s compare apples to apples,” the other CNN host said to the DNC chair. “It seems to me the criticism you’re offering is that Mitt Romney went into businesses and laid people off. But wouldn’t the apples to apples comparison be that’s exactly what Barack Obama did when he touts the auto industry as a feather in his cap, didn’t the federal government and Barack Obama go in and layoff thousands of autoworkers to save that industry?”

Wasserman Schultz then ducked by changing the topic.

She didn’t just duck — she explicitly refused to answer Will’s question.  It’s entirely on point, though, especially after bailout IG Neil Barofsky reported that many of the dealership closures and layoffs were unnecessary, and the decisions to close them weren’t based on sound economics, either, at least in GM’s case.  In a private-equity arrangement, these kinds of problems would have investors voting with their feet.  In public-equity decisions, such as the GM case, there is no such feedback loop.

Marc Thiessen made the same comparison yesterday in the Washington Post:

Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions. Consider just a few examples of Obama’s public equity failures:

● Raser Technologies. In 2010, the Obama administration gave Raser a $33 million taxpayer-funded grant to build a power plant in Beaver Creek, Utah. According to the Wall Street Journal, after burning through our tax dollars, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. The plant now has fewer than 10 employees, and Raser owes $1.5 million in back taxes.

● ECOtality. The Obama administration gave ECOtality $126.2 million in taxpayer money in 2009 for, among other things, the installation of 14,000 electric car chargers in five states. Obama even hosted the company’s president, Don Karner, in the first lady’s box during the 2010 State of the Union address as an example of a stimulus success story. According to ECOtality’s own SEC filings, the company has since incurred more than $45 million in losses and has told the federal government, “We may not achieve or sustain profitability on a quarterly or annual basis in the future.”

Worse, according to CBS News the company is “under investigation for insider trading,” and Karner has been subpoenaed “for any and all documentation surrounding the public announcement of the first Department of Energy grant to the company.”

● First Solar. The Obama administration provided First Solar with more than $3 billion in loan guarantees for power plants in Arizona and California. According to aBloomberg Businessweek report last week, the company “fell to a record low in Nasdaq Stock Market trading May 4 after reporting $401 million in restructuring costs tied to firing 30 percent of its workforce.”

No wonder DWS won’t answer the question.

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Why do I get the distinct feeling that DSW may have outlasted her usefulness and is about to get thrown under the bus by BO himself?

pilamaye on May 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Anyone notice that CNN has actually been guilty of delicious even handed journalism?

Put me on record now as stating that CNN is going to attempt to go the FOX News route with actually presenting the conservative side from time to time due to their latest horrendous ratings?

ClassicCon on May 25, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Naah. ‘Random acts of journalism’ as Rush calls them. Accidents. At the personal level an employee of CNN would never relate their career to ratings. They will always think that it would never affect them.

slickwillie2001 on May 25, 2012 at 2:23 PM

CNN discovers huevos?

John the Libertarian on May 25, 2012 at 2:25 PM

June 8th is approaching, and according to Drudge, she hasn’t yet filed to seek re-election this Fall. It’s too hopeful to be true. Hasta la vista, babe!

Bob in VA on May 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Wasserman Schultz then ducked by changing the topic.

The dems are completely unaccustomed to being challenged with facts.

Has Debbie Wasserman Schultz worn out her welcome with Obama?

BallisticBob on May 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM

He even arranged for Hilary Rosen to tutor DWS, which didn’t work out so well after all. I gotta stock up on popcorn.

dogsoldier on May 25, 2012 at 2:45 PM

In the words of Shark Tank’s inside source, the president “does not want her in the DNC anymore.”

http://www.examiner.com/article/has-debbie-wasserman-schultz-worn-out-her-welcome#print

BallisticBob on May 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Emphasis mine…
Whoa! The dems seem to be eating each other.

dogsoldier on May 25, 2012 at 2:51 PM

The Bain attacks can be countered pretty well – partly by the GM counter (and Bain didn’t stick the public with billions in extra debt or have to screw up the rule of law on creditors rights).

Add to it that much of the D attack is factually false – Bain put money into the companies it bought and lost money on the ones that went bankrupt. The big bad money Mitt made there was from the successful turnarounds that eventually made money and employed more people (without government bailouts).

krome on May 25, 2012 at 2:53 PM

She makes me Godzilla puke.Where’s libfree for life?

docflash on May 25, 2012 at 2:04 PM

…I’m afraid to ask…he might have ‘lotion’…

KOOLAID2 on May 25, 2012 at 3:04 PM

I heard this line of thought on Rush Limbaugh this weak. I do not think it coincidence that Will Cain brought it up…

What happens on Rush Limbaugh is leaking into CNN presenters? Let that soak in for a moment…

Theworldisnotenough on May 25, 2012 at 3:05 PM

We need to get her out!! My goodness. How’d she get elected in the first place?

I interviewed a candidate running against her last night… if you’re interested. http://nextgenerationvoters.com/candidate-interview-ozzie-defaria/

NextGenerationVoters on May 25, 2012 at 3:15 PM

taternuggets on May 25, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I mentioned it way back, along with the fact that her eyes don’t blink in unison.

slickwillie2001 on May 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM

But that’s what makes her so cute! /s

slickwillie2001 on May 25, 2012 at 2:20 PM

All fired up! Ready to go!

MisterElephant on May 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM

June 8th is approaching, and according to Drudge, she hasn’t yet filed to seek re-election this Fall. It’s too hopeful to be true. Hasta la vista, babe!

Bob in VA on May 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

One could hope, but she’ll file. I’ll probably die before they get her out.

katy the mean old lady on May 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM

She disgusts me almost as much as Barry does.

If there’s a hell, there’s a special place for people like these.

RedNewEnglander on May 25, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Ed: Your missing a bigger issue here: the auto companies did go into bankruptcy to shed those jobs. And this was the solution that Romney advocated before Obama adopted it. Why is it okay when Obama sends a company into bankruptcy, but Romney can’t. And let’s be clear here: the auto bankruptcy would not have been possible if Bush didn’t allocate funds early in January of 2009 and Obama didn’t follow Romney’s plan of bankruptcy…

He is an Ametuer!

RedSoxNation on May 25, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I still contend that DWS would chase after a tennis-ball if thrown in her proximity.

St Gaudens on May 25, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Who’s the bigger MoonBat?
This one? Or Piglosi?

mmcnamer1 on May 25, 2012 at 5:20 PM

(CNN) who is hungry to pull itself up out of the basement and seeks to make a new ratings rep as possible new beacon of truth?

The War Planner

Hey there CNN,

I’m very confused by your show host, calling out Dems about their lying statements, about Bain.
My mouth drops open and I ask, what just happened?

You have a golden opportunity to go after a viewer like me, who gave up on watching FOX news years ago, because it was too Liberal!

Go Full Monty…be a beacon of Conservative thought, even if it was for just one hour, in the evening that deals with serious subjects.

Typicalwhitewoman on May 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Debbie Wasserman Schultz in the dog-house with the White House?

Ha.

http://www.examiner.com/article/has-debbie-wasserman-schultz-worn-out-her-welcome#print

mountainaires on May 25, 2012 at 6:57 PM

In addition to laying of thousands of auto workers, Zero and Co. forced more than 2,000 car dealerships to close, and those closings caused hundreds of thousands of layoffs. How many workers lost their jobs when Delphi went under? How many bondholders were illegally robbed when the unions were given control of GM? Chrysler is an Italian company now.

Hopenchange is a disaster.

Philly on May 25, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Debbie, you ignorant Fluke.

Left Coast Right Mind on May 25, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Wow. Watchout Fox Mews.

Uppereastside on May 25, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions.

But he won the Nobel Peace Prize -Debbie-Wasserman-Shults

TN Mom on May 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Enough of making fun of DWS already.

Don’t you know Obama thinks her ‘cute’?

Sir Napsalot on May 25, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Now here is apples to coconuts.

http://www.theblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/DSW-FF.jpg

S. D. on May 25, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Imagine if Debbie Downer and Plugs Biden procreated.

txag92 on May 25, 2012 at 12:52 PM

Debbie Downer and Slow Joe: If we had a daughter, she’d look like Helen Thomas!

Benedict Nelson on May 25, 2012 at 10:43 PM

Headline needs to be shortened for accuracy.

DWS flummoxed

There, all fixed.

LCL4 on May 26, 2012 at 1:20 AM

Debbie Downer and Slow Joe: If we had a daughter, she’d look like Helen Thomas!

Benedict Nelson on May 25, 2012 at 10:43 PM

…ewwwww! She would!

KOOLAID2 on May 26, 2012 at 2:04 AM

Wow. Watchout Fox Mews.

Uppereastside on May 25, 2012 at 8:20 PM

…Wow…such a heavily well thought out comment again.

KOOLAID2 on May 26, 2012 at 2:06 AM

Governments of all kinds have an abyssmal record for picking winners in the free market. That’s because when the government injects itself into the private sector, it does so for political reasons–not economic.

For example, Obama knows that green energy will cause energy cost to skyrocket. He has even used those words to describe the affects of investing in green energy while simultaneously destroying the fossil fuel sectors.

That’s not an economic decision. That’s a political agenda.

And then there is the other side of the government’s coin in government investments in the private sector: subsidies.

Subsidies keep unproductive businees open when they would otherwise fail and they encourage businesses to employ people they don’t need while keeping prices artificially high. Farm subsidies are in most cases taxpayer dollars to keep farmers in business. If farms failed in a competitive market, then food prices would drop as the more efficient farmers would dominate the markets.

It’s true that ending farm subsidies would lead to fewer small farms and an increase in larger farms. But so what? There are fewer corner grocery stores today and more large supermarkets.

And why not keep the buggy whip factories open while we are at it.

There are a few subsidies that are needed to balance unfair trade practices from foreign competitors, but even then the solution should be to impose the appropriate import tax on the product and not give tax money to businesses.

Anyway, my point is that government has a nearly 100% failure rate in trying to pick and choose winners in the private sector.

But, it’s how politicians stay in power.

BMF on May 26, 2012 at 6:49 AM

Little Debbie Washeshershorts, your days as chief Obama political hack are numbered. Nice(NOT)knowing ya!

LizardLips on May 26, 2012 at 8:45 AM

June 8th is approaching, and according to Drudge, she hasn’t yet filed to seek re-election this Fall. It’s too hopeful to be true. Hasta la vista, babe!

Bob in VA on May 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Why would you want to see her go? She’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Finbar on May 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

June 8th is approaching, and according to Drudge, she hasn’t yet filed to seek re-election this Fall. It’s too hopeful to be true. Hasta la vista, babe!

Bob in VA on May 25, 2012 at 2:42 PM

.
Why would you want to see her go? She’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Finbar on May 26, 2012 at 9:51 AM

.
I’d like to see her file and run for reelection, and then lose in November.
Between now and then it would give us some great material. : )

Is there a viable Republican challenger in her district?

listens2glenn on May 26, 2012 at 12:02 PM

So, Romney is criticized for saying we should have let the auto companies go bankrupt, when both GM and Chrysler ended up declaring bankruptcy before the gubmint took over? Do I have that right?

Fed45 on May 27, 2012 at 12:06 AM

CLUELESS

Metro on May 27, 2012 at 2:43 AM

Setting aside DWS’ cluelessness, there is a feedback loop in the public equity realm. It’s just very cyclical. In fact it’s quite predictable.

It starts on the first Tuesday (after the first Monday) in November of the olympiad, and concludes on or about January 20th the following year.

Gus Bailey on May 29, 2012 at 10:45 AM

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