President Barack Obama talked of faith rewarded during his stop Friday at the Toledo Assembly Complex.
He said that if his administration would've let Chrysler fail in 2009, the country would've seen a "cascade of damage," impacting not only the company's employees, but suppliers, GM and Ford as well.
He also talked of the impact and important role the Jeep workers have in Chrysler's recovery.
"I placed my bet in you," President Obama told the Jeep employees. "Put my faith in the American worker and I'll tell you what, I'll do that every day of the week because what you've done, vindcates my faith."
However, there was a comment that didn't sit well with the employees assembled -- who make the iconic Jeep Wrangler. He said something to the effect that even the Wrangler would have a tough time going over terrain as tough as today's economic conditions.
To that, President Obama drew a loud chorus of NOs -- to which he got that point the that the Wrangler can handle anything.
President Obama also echoed news made earlier that day when Fiat Group, the parent company of Chrysler Group, announced it had come to terms with his administration on buying the remaining 6.6% stake in the company -- making it completely free of any U.S. federal government oversight. (For more reports on Fiat's move to take majority ownership in Chrysler Group, see this news search.)
As he left, President Obama was sure to greet the various local and regional political representatives, along with Chrysler Group officials and Jeep plant employees.
Prior to his remarks, President Obama was introduced by Toledo Assembly Complex employee Jill Opial, 37, who has worked at the plant for 17 years. Opial met her husband at the plant, where he also works. Her uncle works at the plant and her mother used to work at the plant.
Earlier, upon arrival at the 1.5-million-square-foot assembly plant, President Obama was greeted by Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne, Vice President / Director of UAW Chrysler Department General Holiefield; and Director of UAW Region 2B Ken Lortz.
He was escorted by Plant Manager Mauro Pino and UAW Local 12 Committeeman Walt Schweifert, and toured the trim line where the front end, instrument panel and center console are installed in the Jeep Wrangler and talked with employees.
Below, catch the first of three clips from President Obama's remarks. On the Pentastar Video YouTube Channel, you can watch Part 2 and Part 3. For photos, click on over to the Presidential Visit Flickr Set.
Jill Opial greets President Barack Obama after introducing him for his remarks at Jeep. Opial is a 17-year Jeep employee. She met her husband at the plant, her mom worked at the plant, and her uncle still does.
Audience members photograph President Obama as he greets employees and guests.