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CBS Complains Obama 'Saddled' By 'Stubbornly Sluggish Economy'

On Friday's Early Show, before the new 9.1% unemployment figure came out, CBS's Dean Reynolds bewailed how President Obama is being "saddled" by the "stubbornly sluggish economy." Reynolds played up how "GM, Ford, and Chrysler have all returned to profitability," and tracked down a beneficiary of the auto industry bailout, who sang the praises of the Democrat [Audio clips from Reynolds's report available here].

The correspondent visited the Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, which the President is scheduled to visit later on Friday, and led his report with his lament for Mr. Obama, setting the tone for his entire report: "Well, saddled as he is with that stubbornly sluggish economy, it's no wonder that the President is looking for perceived success stories to highlight, and that's why he's coming to Toledo."



Even after he acknowledged the "national unemployment rate hovering around 9%," instead of finding one of the multitude of unemployed Americans, Reynolds highlighted the revamping auto industry, almost acting as a stenographer of the economic talking points coming from the Obama administration:

REYNOLDS: Mr. Obama has to look hard for examples that his economic policies have helped to improve job prospects....So the President is coming to this Jeep assembly plant his policies have directly affected. It was closed shortly after Chrysler declared bankruptcy, and the company's future as a whole was in serious doubt. But two years after the government rode to the rescue with taxpayer dollars, Chrysler is humming along, posting a 10% increase in sales in May, upgrading facilities, and returning people to work.

Indeed, GM, Ford, and Chrysler have all returned to profitability, and are gaining market share for the first time in more than 15 years, according to an administration report released on Wednesday.

Near the end of his report, the CBS reporter singled out a worker at the assembly plant who had been laid off, but is now working again as a result of the bailout:

REYNOLDS: James Fayson assembles Jeeps here in Toledo. He was laid off in 2009, but called back to work late last year.

JAMES FAYSON: I wonder, you know, where I would be at, you know, in life right now, had not my president been able to help the American people and the auto industry.

REYNOLDS: He declined a $100,000 buy-out from Chrysler because he believed he and the company had a future together.

FAYSON: I'm standing here today and blessed and thankful that I'm where I'm at.

Reynolds concluded his report with even more seemingly positive news for the Obama administration, highlighting how "the National Economic Council the President put together said the government will lose less than 20% of the 80 billion it used to bail out the car industry. And while that's $14 billion, it's a lot better than the $48 billion the Treasury first thought the government would lose."

The full transcript of Dean Reynolds's report from Friday's Early Show, which began four minutes into the 7 am Eastern hour:

CHRIS WRAGGE: As the jobs report comes out, President Obama goes to a Chrysler factory kept open by the auto industry bailout, while the U.S. Treasury prepares to sell off its last shares of the automaker.

CBS News national correspondent Dean Reynolds is outside that Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio for us this morning. Dean, good morning.

DEAN REYNOLDS: Good morning, Chris. Well, saddled as he is with that stubbornly sluggish economy, it's no wonder that the President is looking for perceived success stories to highlight, and that's why he's coming to Toledo.

REYNOLDS (voice-over): With a national unemployment rate hovering around 9%, Mr. Obama has to look hard for examples that his economic policies have helped to improve job prospects.

REBECCA LINDLAND, IHS AUTOMOTIVE: Whether it's the economy or the oil crisis or the Japan tragedy, all these things are really preventing a full-blown recovery.

REYNOLDS: So the President is coming to this Jeep assembly plant his policies have directly affected. It was closed shortly after Chrysler declared bankruptcy, and the company's future as a whole was in serious doubt. But two years after the government rode to the rescue with taxpayer dollars, Chrysler is humming along, posting a 10% increase in sales in May, upgrading facilities, and returning people to work.

Indeed, GM, Ford, and Chrysler have all returned to profitability, and are gaining market share for the first time in more than 15 years, according to an administration report released on Wednesday.

JAMES FAYSON: I was just there home opening day in-

REYNOLDS: James Fayson assembles Jeeps here in Toledo. He was laid off in 2009, but called back to work late last year.

FAYSON: I wonder, you know, where I would be at, you know, in life right now, had not my president been able to help the American people and the auto industry.

REYNOLDS: He declined a $100,000 buy-out from Chrysler because he believed he and the company had a future together.

FAYSON: I'm standing here today and blessed and thankful that I'm where I'm at.

REYNOLDS (on-camera): Now, the National Economic Council the President put together said the government will lose less than 20% of the 80 billion it used to bail out the car industry. And while that's $14 billion, it's a lot better than the $48 billion the Treasury first thought the government would lose. Chris?

WRAGGE: CBS's Dean Reynolds for us in Toledo, Ohio this morning- Dean, thank you.


- Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.