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Remember all those House Republicans who charged that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout was akin to socialism? Well, as they say, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Several Michigan Republicans — Reps. Thaddeus McCotter, Mike Rogers and Tim Walberg — opposed last month’s fiscal rescue package, but now have signed a letter urging President Bush to use the cash to save the domestic auto industry.

McCotter, the Republican Policy chairman who repeatedly ripped the concept of the bailout in stark terms, issued a lengthy statement explaining the evolution of his views.

“The Wall Street bailout was passed despite my fierce opposition and our GOP free-market alternative,” he said. “While I support a free-market alternative to helping the domestic car industry regain its footing — cutting taxes, red-tape and litigation costs — this is not the path the current nor the in-coming administration and Congress have taken or will take. Thus, since the law is in place, we must work in a bipartisan manner to ensure it is used to directly and beneficially impact the lives of working Americans.

“In sum, as is often the case for myself and all Republican Members in the coming Congress, on behalf of my constituents, I am trying to make the best of a bad policy paradigm, which was imposed despite my opposition,” McCotter said.

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