President Barack Obama today criticized the Bush Administration for writing a "blank check" to General Motors and Chrysler, and called his own administration's auto bailout "a necessity."

In a radio interview, Obama defended his decision to boost loans to GM and Chrysler to a total of $65 billion, after his predecessor's administration loaned them $17.4 billion last winter.

"The auto interventions weren't started by me. They were started by a conservative Republican administration," Obama told Philadelphia radio host Michael Smerconish this afternoon in a White House interview.

"The only thing that we did was rather than just write GM and Chrysler a blank check, we said, 'You know what, if you're going to get any more taxpayer money, you've got to be accountable.' They went through a record bankruptcy, and now GM for the first time is actually hiring folks back."

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Obama Blames Bush for Starting Automaker Bailout, But Takes Credit For Their Recovery

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