Rachel Maddow and UAW Workers Tell GOP Hypocrite to Go Home

Republican Hypocrite Corker on Maddow
Republican Hypocrite Corker on Maddow

Rachel Maddow Exposes Corker (R)’s Attempt to Kill US Auto Industry

Remember the Republicans filibustering the auto bailout, demanding that the workers receive less money or they would vote no on the bailout? Those same Republicans are showing up to auto plants to take part in the celebration, essentially taking credit for a stimulus and auto bailout they are simultaneously campaigning against and did indeed vote against.

Last night, Rachel Maddow applied her razor-like intellect to expose the inherent hypocrisy in the modern GOP, hiding beneath a thin veneer of cowardly double-talk. One of her examples was Bob Corker, R-TN. Bob Corker fought to kill the US auto industry. He fought so hard that he filibustered the auto bailout, holding it hostage until he could be promised that the auto workers would be paid less.

Not because he thinks they are overpaid, but because he represents a state littered with foreign auto companies who pay their workers less and aren’t unionized. Corker wanted to make sure the employers in his state would not be forced to raise their pay. So this wasn’t an authentic debate about negotiating with the UAW, as it was framed; it was a craven attempt to feed the foreign auto companies in his district.

And then, when the US auto industry makes a small recovery, when the UAW union workers celebrate this, he shows up to take credit for it. Note that Bob voted No on the auto bailout.

Naturally he was not greeted warmly by the UAW workers, and one woman shouted out, “Go home!” to the Senator, who didn’t have the good grace to be shamed. Mind you, these same Republicans are waving their USA flags and claiming they stand for American jobs, small businesses and the middle class while they are busy saving foreign auto companies profits in order to benefit their state. USA! USA! USA!

Here’s the video courtesy of The Rachel Maddow Show:

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Maddow Transcript:

First Maddow outlined Sen. Corker’s position against helping the auto industry, “Senator Corker was put forward as the guy who would negotiate for the Republican side during the debate over how and even whether to save the American automobile industry late in 2008. We still have a car industry in this country, and that‘s in large part because when it was going to disappear the government decided to extend what amounted to a bridge loan to the industry. When the plan for bailing out the auto industry was being formulated, Senator Corker, again, negotiating for the Republicans, argued if we were going to save the American car industry, the bailout of the industry should be used as an opportunity to lower the wages of American workers.”

She then explained how Corker wanted to drive down the salaries of auto workers, “Senator Corker, of course, represents a state that is chockfull of foreign car companies that are not unionized here and already do pay their workers less. So Bob Corker wanted to make sure that the salaries of American workers employed by American car companies came down to the level being offered by nonunion foreign companies. And he wanted a firm date for those salaries to come down because that‘s the kind of American patriot Bob Corker is. That‘s how he wanted to use Washington leverage to reduce American wages.
When Bob Corker did not get what he wanted, when he didn‘t win a Washington imposed pay cut for American workers, he voted against saving the American car industry. He voted against even allowing the measure to come up for a vote on the Senate floor. He filibustered it.”

Maddow then hammered Corker for first trying to kill the auto industry, the later trying to take credit for saving it, “If Bob Corker couldn‘t cut American autoworkers pay, then Bob Corker wasn‘t going to support the continued existence of an American auto industry. That guy, I am not joking, on Friday went to a GM plant that was celebrating its ability to rehire 483 previously laid-off workers because of the bailout that Bob Corker voted against, after failing to get salary cuts for all its workers attached to it. Bob Corker went to that plant to take part in the celebration. How can you be the guy who tried to kill the bailout because you couldn‘t lower American wages enough and then show up at the celebration of the success of the bailout? You show up to claim credit for somebody else having saved the company despite your best efforts. What does it take to be that guy?”

In response to Corker’s claims that he helped save the auto industry, Maddow said, “Actually, no, you didn‘t, Senator Corker. Not you. We don‘t actually have to feel good about what you did during the debate over saving the auto industry because you voted to not save the auto industry. You voted no, because the industry was saved despite you. The industry was saved despite what you did. You were a speed bump that efforts to save the auto industry had to drive over to get where they were going. You were the problem, not the solution. You voted against America having car companies anymore. You voted no because you couldn‘t reduce Americans‘ wages enough. America has a car industry only because no one listened to Bob Corker, because Bob Corker lost when he tried to kill the industry. And now Bob Corker wants to celebrate the American car industry that he tried to kill. There is one silver lining here, though. If Senator Bob Corker is somehow incapable of feeling embarrassed about this, the workers at the GM plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, tried to help him with that emotional problem. They tried their very best to make him feel embarrassed by doing some serious heckling when Bob Corker showed up at their plant, their plant that wouldn‘t exist if he‘d gotten his way.”

She concluded, “Apparently the nobody‘s fool auto workers whose job Bob Corker couldn‘t kill despite his best efforts would like Senator Corker to be embarrassed to be showing his face at their factory. Also that they‘d apparently like him to go home. A silver lining. We‘ll do a four-cylinder, eco-boost made in America silver lining.”

Now, if you are not from a state which has been negatively impacted by the faltering auto industry, if you haven’t felt the trickle-down effect of the death of the US auto industry, if you haven’t watched an entire state crumble at the knees of the failing US auto industry, maybe this won’t make you as mad as it makes me.

But I’ve seen it in Michigan, Senator Corker. I dare you to show your face in Michigan sir. I dare you to explain to the entire state why their houses are worth one third of what they were, why the unemployment figures are sky-rocketing to terrifying levels, and why the majority of the small businesses that fed off of the big business of the auto industry are now out of business.

I thought surely a Republican would grasp the trickle-down impact of the death of the US auto industry, seeing as they’ve been arguing about how important big business is “creating jobs”. It turns out that the auto bailout did save some jobs. The stimulus is working, albeit painfully slowly and certainly not enough for Michigan and other states that relied on the US auto industry.

Come to Michigan and explain how you were standing up for foreign auto companies in your state when you voted No to saving the US auto industry.

I dare you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to introduce Senator Bob Corker.

24 Replies to “Rachel Maddow and UAW Workers Tell GOP Hypocrite to Go Home”

  1. Great article, Sarah! Leave it to the hypocritical losers to flock to where the credit is being handed out after they did all in their power to kill the auto industry.

  2. I live in the small TN county where this plant is located. It was once the Saturn Plant and was re-tooled to the Chevy Traverse. It was considered a state-of-the-art auto plant, when GM pulled jobs out of here in 2009. There are union people all over my neighborhood who took early retirement buyout (and still don’t have a job. Unemployment rate in my county is 14.5%) or they took a job in GM Michigan plant but had to leave their family behind because they can’t sell their home, or they experienced a layoff. There had been in excess of 2000 employees at the plant, with this hire-back there will be less than 600 including the jobs there currently which are engine assembly jobs. Before these jobs return the plant must re-tool, which will take awhile and the mood here is angry. Of course this is a redstate, but the campaign signs of Democratic Pols are much more prevalent in our neighborhoods than Republican signs. If Corker was up, he’d be voted out of office for his betrayal. I heard that the booing and heckling began the minute the rank and file laid eyes on him. He’s toast in this county, Dems could run coal soot against him and win.

  3. That was a powerful reply from Rachel. Shame on Corker and the rest of the hypocrites in the gop. They hate unions a d unions are the backbone of the middle-class.

  4. I am glad to see that people are angry, now all we need is for the rest of the country to see these GOP hipocrits for what they all are….scum!

  5. This bothers me because Corker is my Senator. He was the one republican who stood in the senate and begged republicans to come to negotiations over the Wall Street reforms. I even wrote him a letter of commendation telling him when I’m king he would set at my right hand.

    But sadly I was unaware of this little stunt, that being him trying to kill the bailouts for GM and Chrysler. Corker should have known that car sales would not drop if Nissan had to pay their slaves a little more. Corker should have known that in this case he was voting for the American economy that is bigger than just Tennessee.

    Screw him, he has lost my vote. I will take that coal soot now please.

  6. They hide their sins well. Its great that you tried to support him when he was doing the right thing but then I bet wall street doesn’t donate to him like Nissan does.

  7. You cry baby liberals kill me with your total lack of knowledge as it relates to the facts surrounding the “Bailout” of GM and Chrysler.

    All of you seem intent on ignoring the fact that Senator Corker was the only Senator with the guts to step up and try to negotiate a workable compromise. A plan that would allow the UAW and the auto makers, who by the way got themselves in this mess via poor management practices for decades, to avoid total bankruptcy and far less layoffs than actually occurred.

    Bob’s approach was to get BOTH the UAW as well as big bond holders to take a “Hair-Cut” in lieu of the government (you, me and all other taxpaying citizens) stepping in and using our tax dollars to bail out these companies.

    Instead, the UAW and Obama just had to play Washington politics as usual and shoot down Senators Corkers proposed solution. Why? Could it be because it made more business sense than any” Big Government” give away that Reid, Pelosi and all the other money spending liberals could come up with.

    Now it seems the American people are coming to their senses and are demanding a change. And now, low and behold, all the Washington Democratics’ are bolting for the doors in an attempt to distance themselves as far away as possibly from Obama, Reid and Pelosi.

    I any of you intellectuals are interested in knowing the facts of this matter go to the link

  8. I would love to know what the real hypocrites(repubs) stance on trade w/communist China is.Seeing how China has forced ABORITIONS,every dollar spent for”MADE IN CHINA”goods goes towards paying for abortions.

  9. White,

    I stopped reading your comment when you used the words “cry baby liberals”. Thought you’d like to know.

    Whether you’re informed and really arrogant or just an ignorant jerk doesn’t matter… you might do a better job of making your point if you can stop insulting your audience in your first sentence.

  10. Corker should never have shown up for the celebration. For that, he is a hypocrite.

    However, on the flip side, the author does seem a little biased towards the UAW and doesn’t paint the whole picture. Either that, or the author does not understand the economics of the situation and is not a qualified expert on the auto worker wage issue.

    Let it be known that even though auto workers for foreign auto makers are not unionized, they are still AMERICAN workers contributing to the US GDP.

    At the same time, don’t forget that the Automakers seeking a bail out were receiving a bailout from AMERICAN TAX PAYERS. The reason they were receiving government aid in the first place was because they made inferior products partly due to an inefficient and bloated UAW.

    What Dan White fails to mention in the above comment is that the final proposed bailout included stipulations for GM and Chrysler to become more streamlined. Ultimately this led to the reductions and concessions from the UAW.

    The return to profitability for the American Car industry can probably be attributed to the bailout.

    I don’t appreciate finger pointing from the UAW or GOP side and I don’t appreciate those who only give the GOP credit.

    The bailout package was a piece of legislation worked out between Obama and Congress, which includes the GOP.

    The UAW can celebrate all they want and corker and the GOP can try and claim credit. But the victory belongs to the US tax payer and credit should go to the Obama administration as well as some of the GOP members.

  11. Last I checked, regardless of voting record, the bailout was paid for by the American citizens. Every American should be taking credit for the auto bailout. And, last I checked, elected officials are also American citizens.

    So, bash the guy if you will. Whether or not you like it, everyone of us paid to keep the poorly managed auto companies in business. It would sure be nice if the auto makers said thank you instead of taking us all for granted.

  12. “The reason they were receiving government aid in the first place was because they made inferior products partly due to an inefficient and bloated UAW.”

    Not sure I get the reasoning behind this statement. First of all, the UAW workers make the products that the manufacturers have hired them to make. Secondly, the UAW does not design or market autos, nor does the UAW contract with domestic or foreign suppliers for parts that go into cars.

    Mike, are you trying to blame the UAW for negotiating too well? For gaining better wages, health care, and safety conditions for the employees they represent?

    Labor creates all wealth.

  13. you would have a point if Bob Corker hadn’t been so verbally against helping our own workers. We now have over 100,000 people still in the workforce and paying taxes and buying things. Bob Corker did not want that. Nor did he want the amount of people who are being rehired. All Americans should be proud the GM and Chrysler is still there and that they help pay for it. Bob Corker should not be there taking credit for it

  14. the cars are not inferior. If you go to JD Powers and Associates and look at the rankings many General Motors cars are in the upper rankings. You are just giving out clichés that have all been said before.

    The UAW and the auto companies work in negotiations. When the president of General Motors makes 300 times more than the average wage in the plant it is absolutely normal for the workers to want to have some of that money. that’s what negotiations are based on. The company does not have to agree to anything and has the same rights that the union to not agree. It happens in all of the major sports in America and other industries to the exact same degree.

    if Bob Corker had voted for the American workers it would not have affected the foreign car manufacturers here in the United States. They might have had to pay their people a little bit more but would not have affected their sales. the American workers for those companies would have benefited from corker voting for the bailout

    you may think that Obama worked for the bailout between himself and the Congress which includes the GOP, but you might want to look and see how many of the GOP voted for it. The GOP doesn’t do much for the working person

    without these people working, and the 4-1 supply ratio employees working, our economy has hurt. At least Pres. Obama did something for the people who are losing their jobs instead of standing back and waiting for the next president to do it

  15. Even if they said it wouldn’t work, are currently running against it, and never admitted that it worked but yet showed up to take credit for it?

    I guess you’re saying it’s OK for them to not stand for what they say they stand for and to be disingenuous about their platform.

    I disagree.

  16. Bingo!

    This mystery has been bothering me ever since the Publicans were yelling and screaming about how reducing exec bonuses was “wrong” because these guys had contracts.

    If you shower before work, you contract is sacrosanct. If you shower after work, screw you. It’s standard Publican fare.

  17. It is great that this type of behavior is being called out. We just need more of it more often, so we can see these people for what they really are.

  18. I would like to take credit for winning a slice of every lottery prize in the last ten years, even though I did not actually choose to buy any lottery tickets at any time.

    Decisions (votes) have consequences.

  19. I am going to respond to your use of the phrase “money spending liberals”. The GOP claims to be against government spending when this completely contradicts their track record. During the 8 years of George W. Bush’s presidency – of which I believe Republicans controlled congress for 6 of them – the GOP successfully took the largest budget surplus in US history and turned it into the largest deficit in US history. Part of this was the result of the Bush Tax Cuts – which even a top adviser from the Reagan administration has stated need to be allowed to expire. The rest was the result of EXTREMELY EXCESSIVE military spending. In 2009, US military spending totalled $663billion. This is 6x more than China’s spending of $100billion (keep in mind that China has over a billion people and thus should reasonably spend this much). The next highest was France with $63.9billion spent – only 10% of our spending. This outrageous military spending instituted by the very same GOP that you are defending is the bankrupting this country more than any other single factor. If you’re going to oppose excessive government spending fine, but don’t get all high and mighty acting as if liberals are the sole cause.

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