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Biden touts auto industry success on Midwest swing

By the CNN Wire staff
  • Vice President Biden cites auto industry turnaround
  • Biden visits a Chrysler plant in Ohio
  • Policies help workers compete with the world, Biden says

(CNN) -- The American auto industry is on the rise again because of policies of the Obama administration that let American workers compete with the world, Vice President Joe Biden said Monday.

"You've got to take away the impediments," Biden told workers at a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio. "You've got to give the American people an even fighting chance."

Critics of President Barack Obama's federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler have been proven wrong, Biden said, noting the help has allowed both companies to rebound.

"The free enterprise system and private capital is the reason why this is coming back, but without a down payment by the American taxpayer, there would have been" thousands of jobs lost, he said.

According to Biden, the auto industry grew by more than 70,000 jobs in the Obama administration's first year, compared to the loss of more than 400,000 jobs in the last year of the Bush administration.

"It's a huge reversal and one we'd never have seen had we listened to those who told us to walk away," he said, adding that the revived auto industry also stimulated economic activity along the supply chain and throughout the country.

"All the industry's problems aren't solved, but I can say with complete confidence that not only is this industry going to survive, it's going to thrive," he said.

The Obama administration has paid special attention to Ohio, a crucial swing state, since the president took office. Last week, President Obama made his ninth trip to the state since taking office.

Earlier Monday, Biden delivered remarks on the the troop drawdown in Iraq at the 111th annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

CNN's Charles Riley contributed to this story.