Hillary Clinton praises dealers role in rebuilding economy

Hillary Clinton praises dealers role in rebuilding economy

Speaking at the NADA Convention, former U.S. Secretary of State and likely presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton praised dealers role in rebuilding the economy after the recession.

Building and selling cars helped create the American middle class, said Clinton. The resurgence of the auto industry over the past few years has been a driving force behind our recovery. And you, the auto dealers of America, continue to play a vital role in communities all across our country.

She acknowledged that the recession took its toll on the industry.

I know NADA lost dealerships, lost jobs, lost those small businesses that were at the core of a lot of communities. But the overall picture turned out to be positive.

Clinton admitted she had not driven a car herself since 1996. I remember it very well, she said. Unfortunately, so does the Secret Service, which is why I havent driven since then.

She praised General Motors for picking a female CEO last year. I was pleased, because we have a lot of women in the corporate pipeline who have been working in their industries for a long time and are now finally in a position where they can be given the opportunity for leadership like Mary Barra, Clinton said. I think it sends a really good signal to little girls and little boys.

In a question-and-answer session with outgoing NADA Chairman Dave Westcott, Clinton said her biggest regret as secretary of state was the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Her proudest moment was authorizing the raid in 2011 on the Pakistani compound where Osama bin Laden was hiding.

She called on the nations leaders to work together, as they did after World War II and as the auto industry does now.

The auto business has come through some tough times – and dealers bore a big part of the burden – but youre showing us all that theres light at the end of the tunnel, Clinton said, that there is no challenge too big or too hard when Americans work together. The dealer convention crowd gave her a standing ovation.

Download Bulletin PDF