Company Gets U.S. Loan to Build Cars in Finland

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on loan to Fisker Automotive


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Saunas, ice skates, air guitars, did you know that Finland is known for all of them? And now Finland is known for something else, pricey new electric sports cars.

Welcome, everybody. I am Neil Cavuto.

It was hailed as the next big thing, not the saunas -- that struck me. No, I'm talking about the electric car. More than half a billion dollars in government loans for one Fisker Automotive. The idea was to build a new line of electric cars, exclusively electric cars. And they were going to be built at a former GM plant in Delaware with the promise of 2,500 new jobs. Remember this?


SEN. TOM CARPER, D - DE: They're going to be built right here with money from the stimulus package. That's what we are doing with the stimulus package. We're building cars, creating jobs.

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We here standing today, proving the beginning of what we're going to be able to say, the doubters were wrong about our ability to manufacture.



CAVUTO: Well, sorry, Joe, maybe not all the doubters, growing indications that some of their original fears are being, well, justified, not about the ability to manufacture the cars, but about the jobs, because two years later those jobs still are not here. They're in Finland.

Fisker adding hundreds of jobs there, saying that it had no other option, no other choice, that it could not find a U.S. manufacturer to produce the vehicle.

Mike Huckabee not surprised by all of this.

Now, we should mention that the Energy Department insists that these jobs will eventually materialize. It blames the delays on regulatory issues outside of Fisker's control.

But had they mentioned that at these rallies, ya know, when all this was whooping and hollering, I don't think this would have ever come to pass.

MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: Well, the jobs are going to come, and also, by the way, pigs are going to be flying down Sixth Avenue in Manhattan later this afternoon. Everyone should get binoculars, cameras and go out and take a nice snapshot of it, because it will be something to see.

These are cars that cost $97,000 each. They're supposed to be electric cars, but they are really hybrids. The problem is, they can only go 32 miles before the turbocharger kicks in and then you have essentially a gas-driven car.

When that happens, the ultimate mileage comes out to be 19 miles per gallon. Now, Neil, a Ford Explorer SUV gets better gas mileage than does this Fisker car, the Fisker Karma that is being built in Finland.


CAVUTO: What are you whining about? It's a beautiful car.

HUCKABEE: For $97,000, you can buy two Fords.

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: Why don't you talk to Leonardo DiCaprio, who apparently is a big fan of these cars?

HUCKABEE: Well, they love them in Hollywood because it makes them feel good.

CAVUTO: But he also was in "Titanic," wasn't he? And that thing went down.


CAVUTO: So this looks like it could be a big uh-oh.

HUCKABEE: And $529 million of uh-ohs.

I think there's 529 million reasons the American people need to be given as to why we invested this much money in a company that is building a car in Finland that does not even compete with an American-made Ford that gets better gas mileage and actually does less to hurt the environment.

CAVUTO: Governor, I do want to read what Fisker said on this. "Not a single dollar from the Department of Energy has been spent outside America. No money from the DOE loan can be spent outside the U.S."

That may all be well and good, but I think the money given to the company might raise questions as to why it would even consider going outside the U.S., with or without that DOE money.

HUCKABEE: And the question is, if they can't use it outside the United States and they have not used it outside the United States, then the obvious question: What the heck are they doing with $529 million right now?

CAVUTO: You know what I immediately thought of, Governor? When GM was looking up to open up and sell more Volts, the Chevy Volts in China, we had a massive bailout for them. I guess we could parse whether the money given to them was meant to go here or there but they got the money with the understanding being that they would do a lot of things here.

HUCKABEE: I am not against energy efficient cars. I think electric cars are great. Once we can make them where they are affordable and they are able to be produced in mass so that the price comes down, that is all fine and good. But the market has to drive that and right now people just don't trust the electric car market for their full-time family car.

CAVUTO: I was just surprised where Finland came in all of a sudden. That's not ABBA. That's Sweden, right?

HUCKABEE: I think it was that picture of the spa that you had, those beautiful women in the spa. That is what...


CAVUTO: Hey, we will manufacture a car there.

HUCKABEE: The difference is this crew. Look at them and think of them in the spa and think of those girls you had on the picture.

CAVUTO: There are some images I don't want to pursue.

HUCKABEE: And that is probably one of them.

CAVUTO: But, bottom line, we see more of these examples all the time, right Governor? You warned about this even pre-Solyndra, that there were going to be a lot of examples like this post-Solyndra, a lot of falling out. We don't get the lesson, though.

HUCKABEE: Well, we don't because we are frantic. And frantic people do really foolish things.

And this government is frantic trying to show some level of recovery in the economy, so if they see anything that looks like it might work, they are just throwing money at it. And the result is that it is not thoughtful and it's not well-planned and it is not carefully reasoned.

And the due diligence, which normally would always and should always be done on government expenditures, it is just not being done.

CAVUTO: Just not there.

You got a big show tomorrow. What do you got planned?

HUCKABEE: Well, in addition to Charlie Gasparino, who will be talking about his personal visits down to Occupy Wall Street, we will be talking about eminent domain. We have Dyan Cannon talking about her life with Cary Grant. That ought to be fun. Kelly Wright will be with us. And we have a lot -- we have some stuff...


CAVUTO: You need any Finland B-roll, anything like that?


HUCKABEE: I would love to get some of that, because that will drive our ratings right up through the roof.


CAVUTO: I don't think you need help there, Governor.

Thank you very much, Governor Mike Huckabee.


CAVUTO: You can catch his show tomorrow night.

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