Nightly News   |  October 14, 2011

Obama defends auto bailout in Michigan

President Barack Obama tried to leverage the government's bailout of the auto industry into political support, while reassuring U.S. auto workers that a new trade deal with South Korea would not cost Americans jobs. NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: President Obama was in Michigan today trying to leverage the government's bailout of the auto industry into political support in some crucial Rust Belt states in this country. NBC 's Kristen Welker with us tonight from Lake Orion in Michigan . Kristen , good morning.

KRISTEN WELKER reporting: Good evening, Brian . As you know not everyone liked the auto bailout, but the workers at this GM plant did. They say it saved this plant and also saved about 1700 jobs. The auto bailout really one of the few economic success stories that this administration can point to. Now earlier today, South Korean President Lee donned a Detroit Tigers hat as both leaders seemed to be on a campaign-style tour of the GM plant. In addition to the bailout, the leaders touted the trade agreements which Congress passed just this week. Today the president called it a win for the United States and for South Korea . Now, some labor leaders have said that the agreements could cost jobs, but the administration projects that it could actually add about 70,000 new jobs. Now, this is the president's ninth visit to the politically important state of Michigan . The unemployment rate here is in double digits. The president's approval rating is really dropping, so it could be quite a challenge for him to win this state in 2012 , which he did carry back in 2008 . Brian :

WILLIAMS: Kristen Welker on the assembly line in Michigan tonight. Kristen , thanks.