Obama: Taxpayer are reluctant shareholders in GM

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is defending the government's intervention in the auto industry, saying the collapse of GM and Chrysler would have been devastating for the economy and American workers.

Obama said his policies will help both General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC - storied companies in America's industrial history - survive after restructuring and bankruptcy.

He said his administration had no choice but to intervene, putting the government in "the unwelcome position" of having a financial stake in the companies.

Obama said that GM's move into bankruptcy proceedings will actually improve its situation, calling the move a"viable, achievable plan."

He said the new plan will allow GM to start growing for the first time in three years.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)