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Obama: U.S. will get auto bailout money back

President Barack Obama says the government will recover all the taxpayer money his administration used to bail out the auto industry last year.

Sitting in as a guest on the ABC daytime talk show "The View" aired Wednesday, Obama said the auto industry "tells a good story" of his administration's efforts to rescue the economy. He planned to highlight that story with stops at three auto plants over the next several days, including two stops in Michigan Friday.

The a White House official said Obama's proclamation on recouping funds refers only to the $60 billion his administration spent rescuing the auto industry, not the $17 billion spent under the Bush administration.

In a report on the status of the auto industry released Thursday, the White House said failing to rescue GM and Chrysler would have led to the loss of nearly 1.1 million jobs. The auto industry has added 55,000 jobs in the year since the automotive bankruptcies, making it the strongest year of job growth in the industry since 1999.

Later Thursday, Obama, challenging civil rights organizations and teachers' unions that have criticized his education policies, said minority students have the most to gain from overhauling the nation's schools.

"We have an obligation to lift up every child in every school in this country, especially those who are starting out furthest behind," Obama told the centennial convention of the National Urban League, in Washington.

The Urban League has strongly criticized Obama's education policies, most notably the "Race to the Top" program that awards grants to states based on their plans for innovative education reforms. A report earlier this week by eight civil rights groups, including the Urban League, says federal data show that just 3 percent of black students and less than 1 percent of Latino students are affected by the program's first round.

Obama said yesterday that some of the criticism was just a resistance to change.

"We get comfortable with the status quo even when the status quo isn't good," he said. "When you try to shake things up, sometimes people aren't happy."

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