Fans, foes greet Obama, in Mich. for fundraisers

President Barack Obama high-fived a young boy sitting on a man's shoulders and greeted about 50 other well-wishers when he arrived Wednesday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport to start a two-stop fundraising trip in Michigan.
AP Wire
Apr 18, 2012


"Hi, everybody. How you doing?" Obama said as he emerged from Air Force One shortly after it touched down around 4:20 p.m. at the airport in Romulus.

Obama walked along a rope line, shaking hands, signing autographs and high-fiving the boy, who was waving an American flag. The president also gave Liz Hall, 54, of Ann Arbor, a kiss on the cheek.

"I'm never going to wash it," she said. "I'm so excited."

Obama's motorcade left about 10 minutes later for Dearborn, where Obama attended an evening event at the Henry Ford museum. About 600 people were expected at the Dearborn event. Tickets started at $250 per person.

Obama's reception was warm inside the museum, which pays homage to the area's storied automotive heritage. A couple hundred yards outside the building, about 100 people protested against the first-term Democrat.

"I am against what Obama is doing for the country, against the spending, against the deficit rising," said Lucille Fritz, a 70-year-old from Livonia, west of Detroit.

Fritz stood as close to the roadway as safety allowed holding aloft a sign that in the fewest of words described some of her feelings about the past three years under Obama's watch.

As cars passed by, Fritz raised the placard which displayed "Stop the spending" in block letters.

"We have to change the administration. We have to change the government. We have to change the policies," said Fritz, who said she is a member of the Rattle With Us Tea Party group. "We've been in meetings all winter long gearing up for this election to get people better informed."

The peaceful demonstration was organized by 100% Fed Up, a local group started four weeks ago by Patty McMurray and Leisa Audette, two local women who want to see someone other than Obama in the White House. Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative leaning organization, co-sponsored the event.

"We are sick and tired of all the divisiveness and failed economic policies," McMurray said.

While Michigan — which continues to see its unemployment rate dip — shows signs of economic revival, the Detroit area has yet to recover from an economic downturn that started under George W. Bush, Obama's predecessor.

Thousands of jobs have been lost. Many likely are never to return to the once-proud manufacturing city.

"It's about the issues and returning our country to economic prosperity," said Scott Hagerstrom, Michigan state director for Americans for Prosperity. "Michigan has been hit very hard. It's about good-paying jobs and quality of life. Right now, it's not good quality of life. There needs to be a change."

Obama's second scheduled appearance Wednesday was at the Bingham Farms home of Denise Ilitch, the daughter of Mike and Marian Ilitch, who own Little Caesar's Pizza, the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. Denise Ilitch hosted the event as a private citizen, and the fundraiser was not tied to the family's companies or sports teams.

According to the Obama campaign, about 47 people were expected for the Bingham Farms event. Tickets started at $10,000.

Obama last visited Michigan on Jan. 27 when he spoke about higher education funding at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.



We must remember that it took years for Michigan to fall into troubled times, and it will take years for both the state and our country to dig out from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Thank God President Obama decisively, with common sense and fairness, supported the auto industry as he did, or Michigan would have been in a far worse hurt than it has been. At least the auto industry is rising up from (literally) the brink of catastrophe, breaking sales records, paying back federal loans, hiring, and auto suppliers are working overtime here in West Michigan. Let us remember Romney has stated many times that he would have let the auto industry go through bankruptcy and let the chips fall where they may.....imagine the many more years of devastation, crippling unemployment, foreclosures, lost businesses! Yes - let's get rid of waste and corruption in our state, but let's not cut off our noses to spite our face, please!!!


I would like to get some of the stuff Lanivan is smoking. Ask anyone at Shape Corp how much money GM owes them and will never pay it back under their bankrupcy protection. Not to mention the $5000.00 in GM stock I have that is worthless. GM went bankrupt so did Chrycler but on a private level. Ford is the only one that had a plan and stuck to their plan, as painful as it was. Obama did nothing except make GM's bankrupecy easy. They didn't need a plan because WE, the tax payers were going to bankrole them, so they just got to walk away from the debt and responsibility they had to stock holder. Let's get rid of Obama or should we continue to pay for him to just run for re-election, since that's all he's done since last October.


@Lanivan, what are you talking about?....Obama decisively and with common sense & fairness crap. He took over GM to line the pockets of his Union allies that donated to his election campaign and then proceed to shut down dozen of Chevy dealerships that did not donate to his presidential campaign. All the dealerships that were shut down(except one) did NOT donate to the Democrat party. Coincedence? Romney had it right about letting them go through bankruptcy and in fact, that is exactly what happened. @horst has it completely right that Obama expedited the bankruptcy and threw all GM's debtors under the bus, including stock holders(evil rich people)which their shares dropped to .60 cents per share EXCEPT, the Union pensions. They were protected under the convenient. In my opinion, this is the exact reason GM got into financial difficulties in the first place because they could not afford the Union pensions & contracts that were negotiated under the wonderful rules & guidlines of collective bargining. Remember in November people.


@horst - You are correct that Ford was in better shape in the spring of '09 than either GM or Chrysler. GM had been on a downhill spiral since at least 2005, when they posted a loss of $39 billion and sales dropped by 45%. The US auto companies negotiated for months with the feds for financial assistance in the months between the end of '08/beginning of '09 - in fact, Bush issued a "bridge" loan of several billion in December '08 which lasted just a matter of weeks. GM was headed for bankruptcy no matter what when Obama came into office. He had to quickly make a decision between an orderly, controlled bankruptcy, or an uncontrolled one (@dyankee - Obama did not "expedite" the bankruptcy. He was handed it and by March, GM was days away from running out of $$). Now in 2012, there is much analysis out there by both conservative,liberal, and non-partisan sources that show that Obama's decision to undertake a controlled, orderly bankruptcy benefited Michigan, the auto industry, and the US taxpayer, and was clearly the best-case scenario policy intervention at an unprecedented moment in modern times. The GM bankruptcy was the 4th largest in US history - it stands to reason there would be losses felt and concessions necessary by stockholders, employees, unions, auto suppliers, etc. But Obama's decisive actions - just weeks into his presidency - avoided a worst case scenario - millions of jobs were saved, the taxpayers are at a "break-even" point with loan paybacks, and GM stock is pointing up. Let's choose to see the glass half full, not half empty.


Lanivan is correct, even if you don't 'agree'. We are all entitled to our opinions, but not our own facts.


There is so much that Obama can get from a fundraiser like this. It looks like he has a lot of support here. So many great options coming for him here.


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