This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 3, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: President Obama gets a midterm grade of F. Yikes. That is according to Jack Fitzgerald. And you know him. He is President Fitzgerald of the Auto Mall in Maryland. Jack went "On the Record" in May after Chrysler announced it was cutting off almost 800 dealerships nationwide.
A short time ago we went to see to Jack to see how things are going.
VAN SUSTEREN: All in all, the bailout, the loans, who has benefited? Who has been hurt? Where is the jury out?
JACK FITZGERALD, PRESIDENT, FITZGERALD AUTO MALL: The creditors were hurt and dealers who were terminated were hurt. That was wrong. There's no benefit to that. You do not save any money doing that. And they may cripple their chances to survive.
They have made it almost impossible to come back on places like Rockford Pike, where we are standing. There are only seven domestic locations now and 45 import locations.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who is hurt? I do not mean to make less of it, but is it only the dealers themselves? Or is the consumer hurt by all this?
FITZGERALD: Of course the consumer's hurt. The dealer takes care of the consumer.
VAN SUSTEREN: But you still have your dealership.
FITZGERALD: Yes. I do. I'm very fortunate. A lot of people are not like me. I have other brands to sell.
This is not about me. This is about what is good for the country and what is fair for the dealers and the dealer employees across the country. There are 169,000 jobs in the dealerships that are slated to close. Only the Chrysler dealers will close. That is only 800. That is 40,000 jobs, roughly. And all of those did not close. I did not close mine. We are staying open, doing what we do.
But I'm not sure how long we can continue to do that. That is a complex issue involving why people go to a dealer.
VAN SUSTEREN: But if the dealerships had not been shut down, do think the dealerships would have been viable to keep those jobs?
FITZGERALD: Of course they were viable. They survived the worst recession since the Depression. Of course they were viable. GM and Chrysler is who got into trouble. Their management failed. The dealers were successful.
VAN SUSTEREN: The bankruptcy court was had, by - - badly had?
FITZGERALD: Everybody was had. How about all those legal fees? Millions of dollars. I'm not picking on the lawyers. That's what they do.
VAN SUSTEREN: I am OK with that. The lawyers made out with big fees. Was President Obama had?
FITZGERALD: Oh, yes. This was the last thing he wants. This is the guy who wants people to work. He has a job fair right now downtown trying to create jobs, and there are 169,000 of them being destroyed by the irresponsible management in Detroit.
VAN SUSTEREN: So he has been had.
FITZGERALD: Of course he was had. Ron Bloom was had.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who else was had?
FITZGERALD: Anybody on the task force. If you look at that map I sent you, it looks like an election night map, the imports are sold on the west coast and the east coast big time. That is where they get their buying. And that comprises such a small land area in comparison to the rest of the country.
The domestic needs the rest of the country. That is where they sell theirs. So that is why they have so many dealers and why they are all smaller.
VAN SUSTEREN: So who made out like bandits? The lawyers got a lot of fees, I got that one.
FITZGERALD: All those. No, the consultants. Anybody that is a consultant that encouraged the task force to do what they did, you know, that is almost criminal.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why did task force do that?
FITZGERALD: Because they are Wall Street guys and they look a business from a Wall Street point of view, which is at 40,000 feet. They don't run companies.
They admit they don't run companies, don't know how to run a company. I would not go to Wall Street. That is the last place I would go. I would sooner tell them how to build a car then go to Wall Street and make a living. That's not me. But I do know how to run companies.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what grade do you give President Obama on his performance thus far in the automobile industry area?
FITZGERALD: It's not over yet.
VAN SUSTEREN: Right now.
FITZGERALD: He's got finals coming up. He could come back. He is not doing real well right now.
VAN SUSTEREN: Give me his midterm grade.
FITZGERALD: His midterm grade he might be getting an F.
VAN SUSTEREN: That is not so hot.
FITZGERALD: No, that's not so hot. Chrysler is going to fail without some attention. I agree with Senator McCain. I think Chrysler will fail. They don't have a captive finance company. They are way short of dealers. And we do not know if they know how to build cars or not.
VAN SUSTEREN: How does he cram for finals? How does the president get from his midterm F so far...
FITZGERALD: He can get there. His people are starting to get the word, I think. We are trying real hard to talk to him.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you're not giving up.
FITZGERALD: No. We never give up.
VAN SUSTEREN: Somehow I didn't think you'd give up.
Jack, good luck, and we will be back, hopefully within six months so we can get an update on this.
FITZGERALD: I hope he gets an A.
VAN SUSTEREN: I hope he gets an A, too. We all do.
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