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Official: Sorry for touting Asian cars

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Official: Sorry for touting Asian cars

September 20, 2007: 07:36 PM EST

Sep. 20, 2007 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) --

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Bush administration official apologized Thursday for a newsletter sent to thousands of government employees that encouraged them to consider fuel-efficient vehicles built by Japanese automakers.

'I deeply regret that our newsletter offended anyone, especially those Americans working in the automobile industry and the millions of people who make American automobile manufacturers successful,' said Joe Ellis, the Department of Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for administration and management.

Some domestic automakers and Michigan's 15 House members have complained about an Aug. 17 e-mail sent by the agency to its 67,000 employees asking them to consider a list of a dozen green cars -- none of which were built by Detroit-based companies. Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., on Tuesday called the e-mail 'way out of line.'

The list, from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, didn't include any vehicles from General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) , Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F PRS) (NYSE:F PRA) (NYSE:F) or Chrysler LLC. All of the cars were made by Japanese or South Korean automakers.

Ellis said in a statement that the 'newsletter highlighted vehicles not made by American manufacturers, thereby giving the impression that HHS was encouraging employees to buy foreign makes of cars.'

'Nothing could be further from our intent. Clearly, the newsletter strayed from its purpose of sharing information about energy conservation that is relevant to working for our department. In sending such a newsletter, we implied that we endorsed the purchase of cars not made by American companies,' he said.

In the e-mail, an edition of the department's 'Energy News,' a quarterly newsletter, the department wrote 'fortunately, there are efficient options for a consumer to choose from when selecting a vehicle to drive. ... A couple of high profile (hybrid) releases for 2007 are the Toyota Camry Hybrid and the Nissan Altima Hybrid.'

It was produced by the Department of Health and Human Services' office of facilities management and policy, which falls under Ellis' jurisdiction.

Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines said the department 'did the right thing.'

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., said it was nice that the department was apologizing but 'I remain concerned that such a communication was sent in the first place.'

'It would seem to me that HHS officials should focus upon their mission of ensuring food and drugs are safe, and providing health care to our children, rather than issuing inaccurate advice that appears to endorse foreign made products,' Stupak said.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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It was sent out by the health department... Go figure last time I checked I thought GWB owned a Ford Super Duty. Not a hybrid, anyways I hate those $h!-heads should worry about food safety and people health. Not bashing the American car industry those rotten bastards just like Camino said. Those rotten f*ckers.

Edited by gm4life
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Ford Escape Hybrid really is the official public official car... it's both fuel-efficient and American. Hillary, Obama, Richardson, Edwards, Dodd, and Romney all have one. Tancredo has a Prius, and Brownback has a Civic Hybrid.

When the '09 Fusion Hybrid comes out, it'll replace the Escape as the most efficient domestic car.

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Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

OMG....what have you done!!!!! lol
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You'd never see a Japanese president touting American cars.

You never know. We already have a North Korean dictator slamming Japanese cars. :AH-HA_wink:
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What part of "...[the] newsletter highlighted vehicles not made by American manufacturers, thereby giving the IMPRESSION that HHS was encouraging employees to buy foreign makes of cars..." do some of you guys not understand? I try not to make political comments and all, but come on. It's like I don't label every Democrat out there for being an idiot just because Billary and Osama are retards and will subsequently ruin the country if they get their way...so let's keep this a little bit cleaner because I sure as heck sit here many a time looking at the Right being bashed on these boards...which to me at times doesn't make a lick of sense.

As for the Japanese argument...that couldn't be more comparing apples to oranges. Let's not take into account the Asian psyche one bit. Of course the Japanese president wouldn't be talking about anything other than a Japanese car...anyone ever here of "face" in Asian culture...that argument is already invalid...

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It would be awesome if Hillary or whoever rode to the inauguration in an Escalade ESV Hybrid...

generally the public is more interesting in what her husband Bill is riding.

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