Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland talked cars Tuesday in Claremont. He is on a road trip to get President Barack Obama re-elected and says the administration's multibillion dollar bailout of the auto industry should be commended.
"And I am here to talk about that because the president stood up and made the right decision," Strickland said.
Lambert Auto Sales was the backdrop for the event. Owner John Lambert says his company, like the car industry as whole, is on its way up. Lambert recently invested $800,000 in the facility and is seeing a 20 percent increase in sales this year, thanks in part-- he says-- to the bailout.
"If it didn't happen we would have been in real tough shape," Lambert said.
But others in this old industrial city see it differently.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: So you don't buy the argument that Obama saves the auto industry?
Joe Osgood: Last I knew we still own $2 billion worth of general motors.
Osgood runs a repair shop in the city and he's Mitt Romney supporter. The former governor of Massachusetts was very public about his opposition to the bailout. But Osgood says another Obama administration program-- Cash for Clunkers-- was an even bigger mistake.
"The prices of used cars has been driven up to where the person who just barely gets by-- and that is the type of people that I work on their cars-- can't afford a decent car because cash for clunker destroyed the market," Osgood said.
But Lambert says the program, intended to get old cars with poor gas mileage off the market, was exactly was the market needed.
"That gave it an injection, it gave it to the pocket of the consumer right away," Lambert said.
Something the former governor and Obama supporter Strickland agrees with as well.
"Cash for clunkers was a temporary assistance at a critical time and the president came along and did a more permanent fix," Strickland said.
The state of Ohio, like New Hampshire, is considered a swing state in the upcoming election which is now just three months away.
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