Detroit News reporter confirms WH auto czar’s ‘I did this all for the unions’ comment, says it was a joke
President Barack Obama’s auto bailout czar Ron Bloom is under fire from the House Oversight Committee for a pro-union comment he reportedly made in 2009.
David Shepardson, a reporter for The Detroit News, wrote in 2009 that Bloom told a dinner audience, “I did this all for the unions.” While testifying under oath at an Oversight subcommittee hearing in June, though, Bloom denied making those comments.
Rep. Dan Burton, an Indiana Republican, asked Bloom about the comment. Bloom replied that he didn’t say it. So, Burton asked him if he thought he was “misquoted.” Bloom said “that’s correct.”
Burton then said that he was going to call Shepardson and ask him if Bloom said it, and reminded Bloom he was under oath. “I’m fully aware,” Bloom responded.
In an email to The Daily Caller, Shepardson confirmed that Bloom made the comment, but said it was a joke. “Our 2009 story was based on first-hand accounts of mutiple [sic] people who attended the dinner and said Bloom made the comment in jest,” Shepardson said.
Burton and Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, wrote to Bloom late last week offering him the opportunity to clarify his statements to the committee. (Private emails detail Obama admin involvement in cutting non-union worker pensions post-GM bailout)
Shepardson’s news story isn’t the only place Bloom was quoted making the statement. Wall Street figure and key bailout player Steven Rattner quotes Bloom as saying it in his September 2010 book.