Without the government's commitment of up to $50 billion to assist General Motors through bankruptcy, the company would have been forced to liquidate, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) said Monday.

The governor, who has aggressively lobbied the Obama administration for aid for GM and Chrysler, indicated that the company would have essentially disappeared without help from the government.

"Well, I'll tell you, if the White House had not stepped in, we wouldn't be talking about restructuring," Granholm said on CBS this morning. "We'd be talking about liquidation."

Granholm also said that the mere talk of bankruptcy leading up to today's filings probably hurt the company even more as it tried to avoid today's outcome.

"I've never been one who's been a big bankruptcy fan, because you can't get people to buy cars from a bankrupt company," she said. "And in fact, we've seen all of the talk of bankruptcy has certainly dampened consumer demand, not just for the American auto industry, but clearly the recession has made people stay away from the show rooms."

Granholm urged the passage of the so-called "cash for clunkers" bill before Congress -- which would allow tax rebates for Americans who buy new, more fuel-efficient vehicles -- as a way to boost the flagging industry as it undergoes its restructuring.