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Hillary: Stand by Your Van?

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It's possible her campaign is finding a speck of hope in the weeks before the Pennsylvania primary--and now, Sen. Hillary Clinton's trying to turn that faint hope brighter by appealing to Rust Belt voters in a promise to bail out the Big Three.

The Detroit News reports that Clinton's offering a government-backed bailout for the Big Three automakers to prevent any of the trio from going out of business. The News quotes the Senator's interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Monday, in which she says she wouldn't let General Motors, Ford, or Chrysler go out of business without a fight. But a government bailout wouldn't be free: The money wouldn't come "unless they change their direction," Clinton said with no small amount of imprecision.

The fly in the campaign ointment? None of the three companies involved is asking for any federal money to stay in business. But GM and Ford spokespeople were appreciative nonetheless, in one of the few signs of outreach from the Presidential campaign to Detroit's auto industry. A GM spokesperson was "pleased that the senator recognizes the importance of the domestic auto industry," while Ford's PR said they appreciated the Senator's support.

The comments are in sharp contrast to statements from Sen. Barack Obama, who railed against Detroit's automakers in their own backyard rather famously last year--and even to President George W. Bush, who said two years ago that Detroit should "build a product that's relevant."
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