Obama not first to say jobs not coming back to Michigan

July 15, 2009

The politician stood up in front of a crowd in Michigan and declared that lost auto jobs are not coming back.

“I’ve got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back,” he said. “They are not. And I am sorry to tell you that.”

The politician was Republican Senator John McCain. The date was Jan. 10, 2008, the place Grand Rapids, and he was seeking the Republican presidential nomination. He stressed the values of job retraining.  USA-STATES/BUDGETS-AUTOS

Fast forward to July 14, 2009. The scene: Warren, Michigan.

The politician stood up in front of a crowd and declared: “The hard truth is that some of the jobs that have been lost in the auto industry and elsewhere won’t be coming back.” He stressed the values of job retraining.

It was President Barack Obama.

McCain went on to lose the Michigan primary, with the ultimate winner, Mitt Romney, criticizing McCain for his remarks about jobs not coming back.

The Detroit News welcomed Obama’s remarks.

“His message is spot on, and one Michigan must heed,” the News said in an editorial.

“This state has found it hard to accept that the low-skill, high-pay factory jobs of the past are gone for good,” it said.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook (Sign in window of pawn shop in Michigan where decline of U.S. automakers has had impact)


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Whoever wrote the Detroit News commentary has never worked in an automotive factory for very long. There are no such things as high wage low skill jobs in a auto factories.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive

Higher education and skills are not the answer. Basic education and skills are.

Do people come to work on time, awake, alert, ready willing and able to perform with some level of personal commitment? That is the goal.

Will government stop outlawing work and factories? Everything from the minimum wage to environmentalism, osha, the tax code, social security (which confiscates 34% of factory wages) etc. effectively outlaws work.

Now cap and trade will further shut down us factories while giving the chinese a free pass.

Michigan, you can have all the factories you want. Just stop voting for laws and politicians that shut them down.

Posted by charles | Report as abusive

I thought Obama was the candidate of “yes we can”. Now, he has switched gears and abandoned the American working class. It seems that we need a Winston Churchill type leader that really means what he says to get those jobs back to America. Perhaps France and Poland should have just been gone after they were invaded from Nazis, but Churchill didn’t allow that to happen; he didn’t say that “those countries are gone so we just need to regroup.” Fight back Obama – or get out of the way! You are in an Economic War.

Posted by damon | Report as abusive

Why should jobs come back to Michigan, or anywhere else, when the administration and Congress are bent on implementing policies that raise the cost of doing business and hiring employees? It is clear that the wealthy members of society that hold the reins of power live in a very different world and have very different views than the average person who needs a job now to feed a family and raise children in a safe environment. Members of Congress and the administration have jobs and plenty of money so unemployment and the high cost of living is not a concern of theirs.

It is time to get real and understand that this situation will last for a very long time. America is facing a very long period ahead of a reduced standard of living because of the desire to address activists concerns rather than the needs of the majority of citizens.

Posted by Royce | Report as abusive

Ever since Reagan started the policy of skyrocketing corporate taxes we’ve had follow up president’s stick to that policy and think somehow it’s not going to affect people’s jobs.

If I’m a big corporation who’s struggling why should I keep any part of my business in the US where we have the 2nd highest corporate tax rate in the world (behind Japan)? Blind patriotism will never be put above capitalistic demands, no matter how many of my fellow Americans scream for it.

Posted by Michael Ham | Report as abusive

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