(WASHINGTON)—Senior House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders have asked President Obama’s former auto czar Ron Bloom to clarify his June 22 committee testimony that appears to contradict previously published statements attributed to Mr. Bloom. He was quoted in news reports and a book by former auto czar Steve Rattner, at a celebratory dinner for the auto bailout team that he “did this all for the unions.”
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), and former Committee Chairman Dan Burton (R-IN) wrote to Mr. Bloom July 6 stating, “It appears that either a respected reporter and your former boss in the Obama Administration have both given inaccurate accounts of your comments to the public, or your testimony was not completely truthful.” Mr. Bloom testified June before the Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending Subcommittee, led by Mr. Jordan.
At that hearing, the following exchange took place:
Rep. Burton: Well did you say this at a dinner? There was a dinner and it was reported by David Shepardson, Washington correspondent for the Detroit News. At a farewell dinner of the Auto Task Force held in the restaurant Rosa Mexicano in late July 2009 that you allegedly said “I did this all for the unions.”
Mr. Bloom: No I did not say that.
Rep. Burton: You didn’t say that?
Mr. Bloom: No sir.
Rep. Burton: So, you were misquoted?
Mr. Bloom: That’s correct.
Rep. Burton: Well I’m going to call that guy up and ask him if you said that. You know that you are under oath here?
Mr. Bloom: I’m fully aware.
Rep. Burton: You made no comment like that at all?
Mr. Bloom: No sir.
The committee members said, “Despite your five denials, two independent sources documented you saying these words. They cited a November 24, 2009 Detroit News story as well as a book published by Mr. Rattner, Overhaul: An Insider’s Account of the Obama Administration’s Emergency Rescue of the Auto Industry.”