Vice President Joseph R. Biden praised Detroit's resurgent auto industry Thursday and said the success of the car companies would help the bankrupt city to rebound as well.
"Just like the automobile industry came back, Detroit's going to come back," Mr. Biden told an audience at the North American International Auto Show. "This is not only an important city, but it's an iconic city."
The vice president dined Wednesday night with Detroit Mayor Michael Duggan at an Italian restaurant and discussed strategies for revitalizing the city, which became the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history late last year. Mr. Biden said some federal money is available from existing block grant and transportation programs, but he said the city will be aided more by the auto industry, which received an $80 billion bailout from Washington five years ago.
"The city will do it on its own, but there's no reason why the federal government can't do what we're already doing," Mr. Biden told reporters. "There are things that the city was entitled to to begin with that aren't new monies, but they're monies that have been reorganized and brought back in at the mayor's disposal."
At the auto show, Mr. Duggan called Mr. Biden, who is contemplating a bid for the presidency in 2016, "the fiercest advocate for supporting our car companies in the White House."
"Mr. Vice President, all I can say to you is this: Detroit never forgets those who were with us when we were down," the mayor said.
Mr. Biden praised the management and labor at the Big Three automakers for making sacrifices in restructuring that he said turned around the industry's crisis in 2008-09.
"The truth is we're not only back; we're back stronger," he said.
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