Michigan GOP Debate: A Swing State Despite Obama's Auto Bailout

Nov 09, 2011 | Updated Jan 09, 2012

By David Kiley, Editor-in-Chief

If there is one state in the union President Obama might think is secure for him in next year's election, it would be Michigan. After all, he led the tax-payer assisted bankruptcy reorganizations of General Motors and Chrysler, and turned Michigan from a complete economic basket-case to one of the top job creators in the country. But Michigan is anything but in the bag for Obama.

Two years after GM and Chrysler emerged from the federal sponsored bankruptcy--resulting in GM, Ford and Chrysler making the most profit they have in a decade or more--even Michiganders are split right down the middle on whether Uncle Sam should have helped GM and Chrysler and hundreds of parts makers survive. "It's about 50-50, which is surprising I know," says Debbie Dingell, a Democratic Party strategist and wife of Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), who represents Southeast Michigan in a district stretching from Ford's home of Dearborn, MI to Ann Arbor.

That is the opening that the President's Republican challengers are looking to exploit in tonight's CNBC sponsored debate today at Oakland University in suburban Detroit.