POTUS, House Dems Hunker Down to Talk Jobs

By John R Parkinson

Jan 21, 2011 10:38pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:

President Obama boarded Marine One Friday evening for a short flight to Cambridge, Maryland to deliver remarks at the U.S. House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference.

According to a House Democratic aide, the president made brief remarks, thanking both the House Democratic Leadership and members for their commitment and focus on jobs and the economy. The president’s remarks were closed to the press.

Sources say President Obama also recognized members for their efforts and accomplishments while holding the majority in the 111th Congress and credited their efforts to build a better America. The president also said that he and the House Democratic Caucus have had a great partnership over the past two years, and that he looked forward to continuing it in the future.

President Obama also reportedly acknowledged Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, and expressed hope for her recovery. After the president concluded his remarks, House sources say he spent the rest of his time speaking and interacting with members and their families before taking the short helicopter ride back to Washington.

The theme of this year’s conference, which was held at the Hyatt Regency, was “Make it in America,” a House Democratic initiative to encourage companies to increase manufacturing in America, and therefore create jobs and provide Americans with an opportunity to prosper.

“We just left a very lively session that Steny headed up, Democratic Whip Hoyer of Maryland, headed up.  ‘Make it in America,’ just very, very encouraging about a path to how we can not only be economically viable, have energy independence and environmental strength, but how we can do it in a way that creates jobs here in our country so, as the double meaning says, people can make it in America. It is very exciting,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said. “This initiative, ‘Make it in America,’ is about personal fulfillment for individuals.  It’s about economic strength for our country.  It’s also about our national security.  If we are not strengthening our industrial, manufacturing and technological base, we are weakening our national security.  It’s again, very exciting on how we create jobs, reduce the deficit, strengthen the middle class, which is the backbone of our democracy.” 

Earlier Friday, President Obama visited a General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York to deliver remarks on the economy and introduce his head of the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, GE CEO Jeff Immelt.

Vice President Joe Biden also went to Cambridge today to speak to the caucus in a speech open to press and lasting about 53 minutes. The vice president’s speech focused on foreign policy – specifically by detailing his recent trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

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