Thursday, May 9, 2024

Quickie: Walberg's 13-Year-Long Flip-Flop

Link to my earlier report on this topic:


This is a quick follow-up to my report from 2020 about Walberg shifting positions towards the 2008 emergency rescue of the US auto industry. Walberg flew out to DC for the whole week of that special congressional session, but then skipped out on the votes. Walberg’s office sent an excuse to the press for missing that important vote, then retracted that excuse, then made a different excuse for it in 2010. Likewise, Walberg’s positions towards the auto rescue had shifted from supportive to refusing to answer any questions about it. 


During my research on that original report, I expected to find an example of Walberg expressing total opposition towards the auto rescue. I couldn’t find an example at the time. Then in August 2021, at one of Walberg’s invitation-only town halls, unprompted by anything related, Walberg blurted out: “I didn’t support the bailout of General Motors”


Of course, it struck me when Walberg said it, but I didn’t respond to it in the moment. I was just a constituent in an oppressively ignorant room, receiving waves of maskless heckles towards every other polite question for clarity that I tried to raise. There was an overabundance of moments like this, so this was just one of many I had to let go.


I think it would have become national headline news in 2008, for Walberg to have been the one Congress member from Michigan to explicitly oppose the Auto Rescue. I still think it was a big deal in 2021, and still now. In a congressional district that has increasingly become a news desert with less local public accountability, Walberg felt safe to let such flip-flops freely fly. He was too cowardly to say such a thing to reporters in 2008, and too cowardly to even take a voting position on this bill in 2008, or voice any public opinion about it in the years since. Here we are now, where cowardice favors a news desert.

Walberg’s 13-Year-Long Flip-Flop on the 2008 Auto Rescue

2008: Week of the Vote – After Walberg Lost Re-Election

December 10 - House Vote (H.R. 7321)

 – Special Session for the Auto Rescue Bill

Walberg was in DC for entire week, but Absent from Vote on Auto Rescue Bill

December 12

– Statement to MLive (Jackson)

Claimed would have voted “Aye” on Auto Rescue without any qualifying adverbs

December 12

– Statement to Jackson Citizen Patriot

Claimed would have “reluctantly” voted “Aye” on Auto Rescue

December 17

– Statement to Ann Arbor News

Claimed would have “reluctantly” voted “Aye” on Auto Rescue

2010: Campaign During “Tea Party” Wave

October 11

– Campaign Meet & Greet – Adrian, MI

Refused to answer “on conjecture” about his position on Auto Rescue

October 13

– Campaign Debate – Charlotte, MI

Refused repeated requests to answer moderator’s question about position on Auto Rescue, then passively allowed moderator to infer that Walberg would have voted no.

November 2, (2012)

– MLive (Jackson)

Refused to answer candidate questionnaire in newspaper about Auto Rescue. Reporter noted Walberg’s flip-flop from 2008, and explained how vote was, “a dilemma for Walberg”

2021: The News Desert Era - 100% Flip-Flop from 2008

August 10

– Invitation-only Town Hall - Newport, MI

Walberg blurted out: “I didn’t support the bailout of General Motors”

Links to sources for all those examples from 2008-2012 in original report


August 10, 2021 – Invitation-Only Town Hall - Newport, MI

Video (22:30 mark):


Walberg: I don’t think that you should have to take a vaccine. I will oppose any mandatory vaccination requirement. In the private sector though, General Motors or a hospital, if they are a private entity, if we believe in what America is set upon, private industry can do things – [interruption]


Heckler: “But they’re taking government money!”


Walberg: “-and make requirements.”


Heckler: “They’re not private industries. They’re gettin’ government money.”


Walberg: “Um. Sadly, a lot of them are getting government money.”


Heckler: “So, then you can’t call them private industries.”


Walberg: “Well, they are. They are by definition a private industry. General Motors, Ford, Chrysler is.”


Heckler: “So, then the goverment will say we’re gonna cut off the money to them.”


Walberg: “Yeah! And they ought to! They ought to. I didn’t support the bailout of General Motors, for instance. But the key is, I don’t think you can have an entity, like the government mandating that for its people, for its Federal employees. I think that’s absolutely un-American, what they’re doing. I will oppose that in every case.”

Imagine if Walberg said this in 2008: “I didn’t support the bailout of General Motors”

Link to Printable PDF of this Report:

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