As General Motors begins to repay its bailouts to the government, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested that Chrysler is unlikely to survive.

McCain said that Chrysler, the other troubled automaker assisted earlier this year by government money, was too beset by union obligations and other problems to stay afloat.

"It was all about the unions," McCain said during remarks in Phoenix, where he served Sunday as the grand marshall of a NASCAR race.

"The unions didn't want to have their very generous contracts renegotiated so we put $80 billion into both General Motors and Chrysler, and anybody believes that Chrysler is going to survive, I'd like to meet them," the Arizona senator added, according to the Detroit News.

Chrysler was acquired by the Italian automaker Fiat after going through a government-backed bankruptcy financed by the government.  It has not begun to repay its loans to the U.S. government, as GM announced it would begin in December.

McCain had been an opponent of the bailouts in the first place, a point he reiteratred Sunday.

"No, I don't think we ever should have bailed out Chrysler and General Motors," he said. "We should have let them go into bankruptcy, emerge and become viable corporations again."