With President Barack Obama scheduled to visit the plant where General Motors’ Volt is manufactured, Rush Limbaugh is slamming the electric car, saying the vehicle’s $41,000 cost is a steep price to pay for showing “you care” about the environment.
“However, you can get it for less – there’s a $7,500 tax credit,” Limbaugh said with a sardonic tone on his Wednesday program. “Which means that Obama and the government are admitting that nobody wants this. Nobody wants it. We gotta give you a $7,500 discount. Why don’t you try this, Mr. Obama, and the rest of you at Obama Motors: Just put it out there at 41 grand and let the market decide.”
Limbaugh repeated this sentiment throughout the segment, later quoting an “Obama vehicles executive” – referring to GM’s vehicle line director for the Volt, Tony Posawatz – who called the Volt “a game-changing product.”
“The iPhone was a game-changing product,” Limbaugh said, “and it didn’t take a tax credit. And they sold over 90 million of the things. A game-changing product does not need a tax credit. They’re mutually exclusive.”
The Volt, which has been in production for several years and is General Motors’ first battery-powered vehicle, can travel 40 miles on a battery charge and also has a gasoline-powered engine that can power the car for an additional 340 miles.
Previewing Obama’s Friday trip to GM’s Detroit Hamtramck plant White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the Volt is representative of the automotive industry’s revival. “It’s a car and manufacturing process and a product that not that long ago people believed wasn’t going to be built in this country,” he said. “The car and the batteries, because of some of the decisions the president made, are going to be manufactured in America.”
But Limbaugh didn’t sound impressed, questioning why the battery enables the Volt to travel only 40 miles – and why it takes “three to four hours” to recharge it.
Limbaugh told listeners that his radio program last year cancelled an advertising campaign with General Motors because he “knew this was coming.”
“General Motors about a year ago, after Obama took ’em over … we were participating in an advertising campaign, and they wanted us to continue, and it was a large financial commitment that they were making,” he said. “We turned it down. I turned it down because I could not honestly recommend – I knew this was coming. I’m not going to recommend people go buy an electric car that gets 40 miles to a charge. That would shoot my credibility.”
GM spokesman Greg Martin told the Detroit Free Press that he wasn’t surprised by Limbaugh’s criticism. “He’s entitled to his opinion and we appreciate his wishes for future success,” Martin said.
Limbaugh said the Volt, as well as other hybrid automobiles – such as the Toyota Prius, which sells for roughly $30,000 – are nothing more than an expensive way to promote the environmentalist agenda.
“Okay, $30,000 for Prius, $41,000 for a Chevy Volt, and 10 cents for a red…ribbon,” he said. “Look how much the cost has gone up to show how much you care. You used to be able to show everybody how superior you were and how much you cared with a 10 cent red ribbon. Now you gotta spend 30 grand or 41 grand on a car to show everybody how much better you are than everybody else.”