On October 23, 2012, Alex Taylor III writing for Fortune magazine, had this to say about Lee Iacocca:
Having saved Chrysler from bankruptcy, starred in its memorable TV commercials, and written a hugely successful autobiography, Iacocca was on the cusp of a presidential bid. In 1985, a poll of potential presidential candidates showed that he trailed Vice President George H.W. Bush by only three percentage points, according to the Encyclopedia of World Biography. While his political affiliation was a little difficult to pin down (he supported both Democratic and Republican candidates), nobody had any trouble figuring out where Iacocca stood on the issues. His favorite target was the Japanese. He loudly complained about trade restrictions and currency manipulation, and unleashed this characteristic broadside at the Detroit Economic Club: "If they [the Japanese] don't like our cars, then you'd think they could take some American parts and help shave the auto trade deficit. It's funny, isn't it? Those parts are good enough for Mercedes and BMW, but not good enough for Isuzu and Daihatsu?"
America hasn’t elected a businessman since Herbert Hoover. You have to wonder if the nation is ready to accept leadership from someone whose experience has been that of a Chief Executive Officer in private enterprise.
For one thing, many successful CEO’s are given to rather blunt expressions of opinion.
Here’s GE’s Jack Welsh, on what to do with a failing corporation: Fix it, sell it, or close it.
Henry Ford II, on making mistakes: Never complain, never explain.
GM’s C.E. Wilson on free enterprise: What’s good for America is good for General Motors, and vice-versa.
Here’s some more from Lee Iacocca, in 2007:
Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."
Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!
You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?
Lee Iacocca was born on October 15, 1924. He is 91 years old. I’ll be 87 next month. I agree with him.