March 30, 2009
"On Friday I was in Washington for a meeting with Administration officials. In the course of that meeting, they requested that I 'step aside' as CEO of GM, and so I have."
Rick Wagoner, GM chief, stepping down from his post at the embattled automaker
News that the Obama Administration asked the longtime GM chief to resign sparks a firestorm in Washington, with Republicans criticizing the move as an extraordinary intervention by the Federal Government into the management of a private company. But the President stands his ground in morning remarks, saying that Rick Wagoner's ouster isn't a "condemnation" but a recognition that it will take a new vision to move the company in a new direction. He also indicates that automakers have one more chance to get their act together and outlines conditions that Chrysler and GM will have to meet in order to receive additional government aid and avert bankruptcy.
Later, reporters hammer White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about a potential double standard for government bailouts when he won't say whether Obama's strict guidelines for automakers is something Wall Street should expect soon. And new GM CEO Fritz Henderson takes to the mikes, telling reporters that bankruptcy of the company is still a possible outcome.