GM and Chrysler ban Presidential campaign visits
This means that between now and Tuesday, November 6th 2012 neither President Barack Hussein Obama nor former Massachusetts governor/current Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney are permitted to visit any of the Chrysler Group or General Motors facilities around the country as a leg of their campaign trail. We can assume that any independent Presidential hopefuls are also prohibited from visiting any GM or Chrysler plants as well – should one come into the public eye over the next few months. Even though both main players in the Presidential race would likely want to make a visit to any of various plants belonging to both General Motors and the Chrysler Group – it won’t happen.
There are a variety of reasons why this decision makes sense but in the case of both automakers – it starts at the consumer level as General Motors and the Chrysler Group both sell cars to consumers who could vote for any of the 2012 Presidential hopefuls. Should one of the automakers seemingly show preference to one candidate or another by having them visit a facility – it could turn off consumers to the brands under those corporate banners.
While this doesn’t come as a huge surprise, some Americans are surprised by the fact that General Motors can block the President from visiting a plant during his campaign considering that the US Government still owns 32% of the company. President Obama has repeatedly taken credit for the success of the “bailout loans” but GM CEO Dan Akerson has pointed out in the past that the first steps towards the government’s help of both GM and the Chrysler Group began during the second term of President George W. Bush. President Obama would certainly like to visit the GM plants to show how his part in the bailout has helped GM survive but General Motors isn’t going to let that happen. Another key concern of GM is to shed the nickname of “Government Motors” – and becoming a focus of the Presidential race will certainly bring up those same comments from those who oppose the bailout loans.