Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 34: Episode 9
The Big Three Automakers
C-SPAN announcer…..Jim Downey
Barney Frank…..Fred Armisen
Rick Wagoner…..Will Forte
Robert Nardelli…..Darrell Hammond
Alan Mulally…..Jason Sudeikis
Blond Female Panelist…..Kristen Wiig
Carolyn Maloney…..Casey Wilson
Walter Jones…..Bill Hader
Gregory Meeks…..Kenan Thompson
Peter King…..Bobby Moynihan
C-SPAN Announcer: Next on C-SPAN, live coverage of the House Financial Services Committee, where hearings on the proposed bailout for the Big Three auto companies are about to begin.[Fade in on Barney Frank banging his gavel as the hearing starts]
Barney Frank: Good evening. As you know, these hearings on the proposed financial aid package for the Big Three automakers had been set to resume December 2nd. But when Mr. Wagoner, Mr. Nardelli, and Mr. Mulally asked if they could come back from Detroit and meet today ten days early I considered that an impressive sign of good faith and granted their request. Now, youll recall this committee had asked these gentlemen to come up with a specific, detailed proposal regarding the aid package by December 2nd. But now, I understand well hear that proposal today. Gentlemen, welcome.[Cut to Rick Wagoner, Robert Nardelli, and Alan Mulally sitting at a long table across from Barney Frank and the other members of the House Financial Services Committee, each with their own glass of water and microphone]
Rick Wagoner: Uh, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Uh, before we begin, Id like to apologize to the committee for the fact that we arrived here in Washington so late. Uh, as many of you know, instead of flying, the three of us decided, uh, to drive [over the studio audience laughter]: here from Detroit, but we had car trouble. Uh, I was going to drive my 2009 Cadillac XL RVa model we at GM are very proud ofbut every time I tried to start it, I just got a powerful electric shock, and the upholstery would catch on fire. Uh [turns his head to Robert Nardelli], Bob here wanted to come in his new Chrysler 300, but the brakes, steering, transmission, and engine all went out. Also, I believe the windshield came off? [turns to Nardelli to see if hes correct]
Robert Nardelli: Yeah. [Wagoner quickly nods before turning his attention back to the committee]
Rick Wagoner: Uh, so we all piled in Alans brand new Ford Fiesta [Alan nods], which worked out, uh, pretty well, except that when you turned on the lights, the heater and car alarm would come on. Plus, the GPS system wasnt working too well, and we were just outside of St. Louis when we figured that out. Uh, but, long story short, we found a Radio Shack, got a new GPS, and we are here.
Barney Frank: Well, Mr. Wagoner, were just glad you arrived safely. Now, please tell us your proposal regarding the aid package.
Rick Wagoner: Sure, of course. [Turns to signal his assistant to come in. Wagoners assistant props a table that has the logos for Chrysler, GM, and Ford and reads, Big Three Automakers Financial Aid Proposal, listing fifteen dates from January 1st 2009 to July 15th, 2013, each with their own dollar amount. Wagoner directs his attention to the committee]: Uh, as you can see, Mr. Chairman, this proposal is specific, it is detailed, and it is both short- and long-ranged. Now, assuming we receive the $25 billion in aid sometime this weekend, uh, on January 1st, 2009, we will request another $25 billion. Uh, then on June 15th, uh, we will ask for $50 billion. On September 30th, another $50 billion. Then, provided theres a rebound in new car sales, on December 15th, $100 billion. Uh, you know, I dont want to bore you with the rest. Its all there in in the handouts that youve received. I welcome your questions.
Barney Frank: Uh, now, Mr. Wagoner, as I look over your proposal, it seems like just a list of dates covering the next five years and the amount of federal money youll be asking for on those dates.
Rick Wagoner: Exactly. [unsure] Is this not what you had in mind?
Barney Frank: [as hes shaking his head] No. No, it isnt.
Robert Nardelli: Mr. Chairman, we worked really hard on this.
Barney Frank: The chair recognizes the gentle lady from New York.
Carolyn Maloney: Thank you, uh, Mr. Chairman. As I discussed a few days ago, my constituents and I are very concerned about our nations dependence on foreign oil. Now, a few years ago, this Congress passed legislation mandating 200 miles per gallon cars by 2015. So weve done our part. And my question is and Ill ask you, Mr. Nardelli what is Chrysler doing about making more feul-efficient cars?
Robert Nardelli: [as hes shaking his head] I dont know. [some laughter and applause from the studio audience]: But, its interesting you mentioned that. Have you noticed how expensive gas is these days? On the drive here from Detroit, we couldnt believe it. It was more than $2.50 a gallon.
Alan Mulally: One place, we saw $3.00 a gallon. I kid you not.
Carolyn Maloney: Actually, actually, about six months ago, itit was more than $4.00.
Alan Mulally: [amazed] Get outta here!
Barney Frank: Uh, the chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Jones.
Walter Jones: [speaks with a fast, Southern drawl] Uh, now, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Wagoner, uh, accordin to your testimony early in the week, for every, uh, car General Motors sells, it loses $2500. Now, if thats the case, just how are you goin to turn your company around?
Rick Wagoner: Well, I guess well just have to sell more cars. Uh, no, wait. Forget that. I dont know.
Walter Jones: [partially muffled by studio audience laughter] Mr. Wagoner, now listen. The average family for my district lives on less than $40,000 a year, now thats just you know, thats just how do I get back to my constituents and explain to them that were taking $25 billion of their tax money to bail out an industry so badly mismanaged?
Rick Wagoner: Well, cant you just lie to em?
Walter Jones: What?
Rick Wagoner: Tell them you didnt give us the money. Theyre not going to find out.[cut to a wide shot of Robert Nardelli and Alan Mulally shaking their heads and agreeing with Wagoners suggestion]
Walter Jones: [offended by the suggestion] Okay, firstfirst of all, listen, I dont lie to my constituents, and second of all [pointing to the cameras]: right now, were on television.
Rick Wagoner: Congressman, no one watches C-SPAN.
Robert Nardelli: Id like to second my colleagues idea about lying to your constituents. No one watches C-SPAN.
Alan Mulally: You could run a snuff film on C-SPAN. Nobody would notice.
Rick Wagoner: [as Wagoners assistant props a line chart that reads, C-SPAN VIEWERSHIP SHOWS STEADY DECLINE with three different-colored lines showing a drop-off in viewership between June 2008 and November 2008] Yeah, i-if I could, uh, direct your attention to this chart [goes to point to the chart]
Walter Jones: All right, now look, look, Iokay, Im not interested in any chart, all right. I dont care whos watchin, and Im not going to lie to my constituents, and Im deeply disappointed by your performance here today.
Alan Mulally: Well, Im just telling you: No one watches CSPAN.
Walter Jones: [annoyed] Stop sayin that![cut to Robert Nardelli looking ashamed, then cut to a wide shot of the House Financial Services Committee panel]
Barney Frank: The chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.
Gregory Meeks: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Unlike my friend from North Carolina, Im sympathetic to your problem, but first I need some answers. Two months ago, I bought a Chevy Avalanche, and whenever I try to start it, the batterys dead, so I have to get it jumped. But even after driving around all day, if I turn off the car, it wont start again, so I have to leave it running 24 hours a day. I-Ive been told its because when I turn off the car, the air conditioner starts up and drains the battery.
Alan Mulally: Uh, Congressman, let me interrupt, if I may. I think I know your problem here. Your car is, what we at Ford call, a lemon. And, believe me, theres nothing you can do about it.
Gregory Meeks: Uh-huh.
Alan Mulally: But, if its any comfort, you are not alone. Just at Ford, we got millions and millions of lemons on the road.
Rick Wagoner: Yeah, at GM, we got a whole plant that produces nothing but lemons.
Robert Nardelli: So do we.
Gregory Meeks: I really appreciate your honesty. Im gonna vote for the bailout, cuz Im a union man!
Barney Frank: Uh, the chair is happy to recognize our friend from New York, Mr. King.
Peter King: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentlemen, I would really like to help you I think we all would, but your testimony here today does not inspire confidence, and I dont see how we can justify this bailout by taxpayers.
Rick Wagoner: Congressman, with all due respect, were are not talking about a gift or a subsidy. We are talking about a loan.
Peter King: A loan on which you will mostly certainly default?[Rick Wagoner and Alan Mulally cover their microphones as they briefly lean over to quietly converse with Robert Nardelli. They soon break from the huddle with the answer to Representative Kings question]
Rick Wagoner: Yes.
Barney Frank: I-I believe that concludes these hearings. I have nothing more to add, except to stress what Ive already said many times: Detroit not only needs to build safer cars, and more fuel-efficient cars, but gayer cars. You know, like the Mini Cooper [asides to one of the representatives]: I think theyre adorable. [turns back to the camera]: Anyway Live from New York, its Saturday Night!
Submitted by: Candy