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Biden, Duggan share a meal and discuss ways to help Detroit

Jan. 16, 2014 at 3:59 PM

DETROIT, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said he met with Mayor Mike Duggan in Detroit to discuss strategies to save the motor city.

The two shared in an Italian meal Wednesday night at Roma Cafe and discussed how to bring jobs and new business to Detroit, the largest U.S. city to ever filed for bankruptcy, the Detroit Free Press said Thursday.

"This is a great city, and there's no reason why it can't come back," Biden said.

The vice president said the federal government will assist the city with grant money and transportation funds.

"You have a great advantage here in that the automobile industry is up and running and healthy ... you have a fundamental building block upon which to generate the kind of economic expansion and growth that is needed," he said.

Duggan often visits the restaurant, the Free Press said. They ate minestrone soup, salad and spaghetti.

Biden also spoke the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center Thursday morning before returning to Washington.

He heralded the turnaround of the U.S. auto industry and referred to the Obama Administration's 2008-2009 infusion of cash to rescue General Motors and Chrysler Group LLC saying, "We bet on American ingenuity, we bet on you and we won. How could we possibly walk away from the iconic industry of America?"

Referring to himself as a "car junkie," Biden, who owns a classic Chevrolet Corvette, likened himself to "a kid in a candy shop" as he toured the displays of new cars and trucks.

At the Ford display he spoke briefly to Ford Motor Co. executive director William Ford and said, "Thank you for saving (us)," an apparent reference to Ford's decision not to seek a federal bailout in 2009.

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