ABC News’ Karen Travers reports:
President Obama came to Youngstown, OH to tout his administration’s economic policies at work and jab Republicans once again for sitting on the sidelines.
Speaking at the V&M Star, a manufacturer of pipe and metal tubing, Obama said that because of the Recovery Act that his administration enacted, this company had the resources to expand and create jobs. Obama said the company’s $650 million investment was the biggest in the manufacturing industry in this region since the 1960s.
The president took full credit for the role his administration played.
“So right here in the heart of the old steel corridor, where some never thought we’d see an investment like this again, they’re placing a bet on American manufacturing and on this community,” Obama said. “And that bet’s going to pay off for 400 construction jobs once they break ground this summer, 350 new manufacturing jobs once the mill comes on line — which doubles the current workforce.”
Obama echoed his comments from Buffalo last Thursday when he chided Republicans for their opposition to his policies.
“If the just-say-no crowd had won out, if we had done things the way they wanted to go, we’d be in a deeper world of hurt than we are right now,” the president said. “The steady progress we’re beginning to see across America would not exist. And neither would the plant that you’re about to build.”
The president challenged his political opponents to come to an area like Youngstown and explain why they opposed the policies that he said created jobs, gave tax credits to small businesses and helped families pay for health insurance and “doing nothing to solve some of these problems that have been plaguing America for years now, decades.”
Obama said he knows that his policies are working because the same lawmakers who “tried to score political points” with their opposition to the stimulus act and other Obama Administration policies go back to their districts and “claim credit for the very things they voted against.”
“They’ll show up…to cut the ribbon, they’ll put out a press release, they’ll send the mailings touting the very projects that they were opposing in Washington. They’re trying to have it both ways,” he said. “I know that’s hard to imagine in politics, that a politician might try to have it both ways.”
Here in Youngstown, Obama was just 10 miles west of the Pennsylvania-Ohio, but he did not utter a word about the Keystone State’s Democratic primary taking place today between Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak.
Yesterday White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that the president had not been watching the races “that closely” and would not engage in speculation on whether the results will be a referendum on the president. But Gibbs did acknowledge the overall theme of politics right now – it’s tough to be an incumbent.
Before his remarks, Obama toured a section of the plant where steel tubes were moving down an assembly line and asked questions of several company representatives.
He told the audience of about 150 employees that he saw the 85-ton electric arc furnace, which he suspected may be put to use for a new Hollywood blockbuster.
“I didn’t see any evidence, but I know that you’re building Iron Man’s suits somewhere in here,” he said referring to the movie which hit theaters earlier this month.