Vice President Joe Biden offered a top Ford Motor Company executive some blunt praise during a stop in Detroit, Mich. on Thursday.
"Thank you for saving our ass," Biden said to Bill Ford Jr., the auto giant's executive chairman, according to a pool report.
While it's unclear what Biden was referring to, pool reporter David Shepardson of the Detroit News notes that Ford did not seek government bailout funds after the 2008 financial crisis. Shepardson could not make out Ford's response to Biden.
Biden's remark came while the vice president toured the North American International Auto Show, which is set to open to the public on Saturday.
The Associated Press offered details on Biden's visit:
Biden delivered a speech and toured the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, which showcases vehicles and hosts visitors from around the world. He promised an "American century in manufacturing" after the bankruptcies and near-industry meltdown about five years ago.
"We bet on American ingenuity, we bet on you and we won," Biden told the audience, flanked by a half-dozen General Motors, Ford and Chrysler vehicles.
Biden, the son of a car dealer and proud owner of a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, said the industry revival also means good things for Detroit, which is undergoing the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy — four years after General Motors and Chrysler emerged from their own restructurings.
"Just like the automobile industry came back, Detroit is going to come back," Biden said during his speech. "It's not only an important city but it's an iconic city. It symbolizes the manufacturing might of the United States of America."