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Bush Tells Dealers He Avoided ‘Gamble’ in Bailing Out Automakers

Former U.S. President George W. Bush told car dealers gathered at a convention in Las Vegas he “didn’t want to gamble” with a depression in defending the loans he gave to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.

“I didn’t want there to be 21 percent unemployment,” Bush said in a speech yesterday to cap the annual National Automobile Dealers Association convention, attended by more than 20,000 people. “I didn’t want to gamble. I didn’t want history to look back and say, ‘Bush could have done something but chose not to do it.’ And so I said, ‘no depression.’”