Lee Iacocca Speaks Out on Obama

Netlore Archive

Forwarded text attributed to former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca says the only way to save America is to "Throw all the Democrats out along with Obama!"

Description: Viral text
Circulating since: Nov. 2009 (this version)
Status: Text has been drastically altered (see details below)

Example:
Email contributed by Cheryl T., Nov. 30, 2009:

Subj: LEE IACOCCA SPEAKS OUT!

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from its death throes? He's now 82 years old and has a new book, 'Where Have All The Leaders Gone?'.

Lee Iacocca Says:

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage with this so called president? We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of tax cheating clueless leftists trying to steer our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even run a ridiculous cash-for-clunkers program without losing $26 billion of the taxpayers' money, much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'trust me the economy is getting better..'

Better? You've got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned, 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the Democrats out along with Obama!'

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.

The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs.. While we're fiddling in Afghanistan, Iran is completing their nuclear bombs and missiles and nobody seems to know what to do. And the liberal press is waving 'pom-poms' instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the 'America' my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest 'C' is Crisis! (Iacocca elaborates on nine C's of leadership, with crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with thumb up your butt and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A hell of a mess, so here's where we stand.

We're immersed in a bloody war now with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. But our soldiers are dying daily.

We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the world, and it's getting worse every day!

We've lost the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs.

Gas prices are going to skyrock again, and nobody in power has a lucid plan to open drilling to solve the problem. This country has the largest oil reserves in the WORLD, and we cannot drill for it because the politicians have been bought by the flea-hugging environmentalists.

Our schools are in a complete disaster because of the teachers union.

Our borders are like sieves and they want to give all illegals amnesty and free healthcare.

The middle class is being squeezed to death every day.

These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: 'Where have all the leaders gone?' Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo?

We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping the government will make it better for them. Now, that's just crazy.. Deal with life.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when 'The Big Three' referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen, and more important, look what Obama did about it!

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the Chicago gangsters in Congress. We didn't elect you to turn this country into a losing European Socialist state. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on NBC or CNN news will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough? Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope - I believe in America . In my lifetime, I've had the privilege of living through some of America 's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: The 'Great Depression on,' 'World War II,' the 'Korean War,' the 'Kennedy Assassination,' the 'Vietnam War,' the 1970's oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years since 9/11.

Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It's our country, folks, and it's our future. Our future is at stake!!



Analysis: Though based on an actual passage written by former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca, this text bears scant resemblance to the original, which appeared as the first chapter of Where Have All the Leaders Gone?, a book by Iacocca and Catherine Whitney published by Simon & Schuster in 2007.

In brief, what originated as a sharp critique of President George W. Bush, his policies, and administration has been anonymously revised to make it appear as though Iacocca blames Barack Obama and the Democrats for all the country's ills.

For example, the original text, as written by Iacocca, begins like so:

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

The same passage, as anonymously altered for Internet consumption, reads as follows:

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage with this so called president? We should be screaming bloody murder! We've got a gang of tax cheating clueless leftists trying to steer our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even run a ridiculous cash-for-clunkers program without losing $26 billion of the taxpayers' money, much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, 'trust me the economy is getting better..'

Better? You've got to be kidding. This is America , not the damned, 'Titanic'. I'll give you a sound bite: 'Throw all the Democrats out along with Obama!'

And so on. When Iacocca wrote "Throw the bums out!" he was referring to the Bush administration, not Obama and the Democrats.

In fact, when the book was published Obama had only recently announced his candidacy. This is what Iacocca wrote of Barack Obama then:

Barack Obama is one of those stars who seem to come from nowhere to capture the imagination of the nation. What's not to like about this guy? He has CHARISMA and CONVICTION, and obviously he has strong COMMUNICATION skills. In my opinion, his race isn't an issue. We're as ready to elect a black man as we are to elect a woman. But is Obama the one? Is he COMPETENT to be President? He lacks experience in national government, and the media needs to push him on how he would lead — especially in foreign affairs. however, lack of experience isn't always an insurmountable barrier. Look at the mess George Bush's experienced team of Cheney and Rumsfeld mad of things. But Obama is going to have to get very specific about what he would do and who would be on his team, in order for us to have enough confidence in him.

No doubt Mr. Iacocca would have a few critical things to say of Obama now that he's been in office for over a year. Perhaps some of those criticisms would even be harsh. We don't know, because Iacocca has made very few public statements about politics since the 2008 election. What we do know is that none of the statements about Obama attributed to Iacocca in the email were actually made by him, though someone seems awfully keen on convincing us that they were.



Sources and further reading:

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
By Lee Iacocca and Catherine Whitney (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007)


Last updated 01/27/10