Obama promises to drive a Chevy Volt 'in five years when I'm no longer president'

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The Chevy Volt has come under criticism from Republicans in Congress because of reports of its batteries catching on fire during testing. Critics argued the Volt was being pushed by the Obama administration for political reasons instead of consumer demand.

However, Obama touted the electric car Tuesday in an effort to draw a contrast between his support for federal bailouts to U.S. car companies in 2008 and 2009 and Republican opposition to it.

The Volt was proof the "the American auto industry is back," the president said to cheers.  

Obama used the car as an example of what he argued was happening in the U.S. auto industry because of his stewardship — and because he did not listen to the advice of his GOP critics. 

"GM is back on top as the No. 1 automaker in the world [with its] highest profits in its 100-year history," Obama said. "Chrysler is growing faster in America than any other car company. Ford is investing billions in American plants, American factories — plans to bring thousands of jobs back to America." 

Congress held a hearing about the Chevy Volt last month, but Obama administration officials insisted that the electric vehicles were safe. 

Obama himself said of the Volt's future and his post-presidency, which he made clear Tuesday he does not see beginning in 2013, "I’ll buy one and drive it myself."