On Friday morning, George W. Bush announced he would allow the Treasury Department to use a small fraction, $13.4 to $17.4 billion, of the $700 billion financial bailout to help automakers GM and Chrysler.
While normally Bush would have just let the automakers go bankrupt, he explained in a televised speech before the U.S. markets opened. “But these are not ordinary circumstances. In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” Bush said.
Then shortly after Bush’s finished his remarks, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that he needed more money. According to the Washington Post, Paulson noted that “that nearly all of the funds remaining at his disposal have now been committed for a loan to the nation’s automakers.”
The message being crafted is that helping the automakers forced the Bush administration to ask the second half of the bailout money. The message has been developing over the past two weeks.