Obama plans Detroit 'health check'

July 24, 2010 at 4:51 PM

DETROIT, July 24 (UPI) -- President Obama will visit Detroit for the first time since his administration's $85 million rescue of General Motors and Chrysler, officials said.

In his visit next week, Obama plans to highlight the progress both automakers have made, citing higher employment and new models coming from the companies' factories, The Detroit News reported.

Going into midterm congressional elections in November, the White House is painting the controversial bailout as a tough, politically unpopular decision that in the end was justified, the newspaper said.

The president was right to save hundreds of thousands of jobs by rescuing the domestic automakers, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Republicans who opposed the bailout were on the wrong side of history, Gibbs said.

"They came down believing that, despite all of our economic problems, we ought to put a million more people in the unemployment line. The president didn't think that," he said. "The president's decision has -- only in a short period of time -- paid off for the workers and this country."

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