The Washington Times - July 19, 2013, 08:28AM

President Obama’s former “car czar” said Friday that the Obama administration needs to help rescue bankrupt Detroit.

“I think this is a place where government’s going to have to step in,” said Steven Rattner on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

SEE RELATED: Detroit files for bankruptcy

Mr. Rattner, who was tapped by the president in 2009 to direct an $80 billion federal bailout of Detroit’s automakers, said the city needs to drastically cut debt of nearly $20 billion and to reduce pension benefits for municipal employees.

The White House has said administration officials are working with city leaders, but the president has not given any indication of a possible bailout.

The city filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in federal court Thursday, becoming the largest U.S. city ever to take that action. Among its problems are 78,000 abandoned buildings and the highest murder rate in 40 years.