This story is from earlier this week, and the Bush Administration refuted the underlying claim. However, that it could be true illustrates a fundamental flaw in politics.
The struggling auto industry was thrust into the middle of a political standoff between the White House and Democrats on Monday as President-elect Barack Obama urged President Bush in a meeting at the White House to support immediate emergency aid.
Mr. Bush indicated at the meeting that he might support some aid and a broader economic stimulus package if Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia, a measure for which Mr. Bush has long fought, people familiar with the discussion said.
If this is true and it ends this way, Americans will lose free trade with Detroit to gain free trade with Colombia (among others).
I hate politicians.
An amusing paragraph in the article:
Mr. Bush has drawn his line at the automakers’ doors, having already been forced to shelve the free-market principles of his Republican Party to bail out the financial industry over the past two months. But Republicans say he would acquiesce in aid to automakers in return for Congress’s ratification of the Colombia pact and pending trade agreements with Panama and South Korea.
President Bush was not forced to shelve the free-market principles not possessed by the Republican Party.