ABC News' Tahman Bradley Reports:
It sure feels like the president is running for president again.
In a speech to workers at a wind turbine factory in suburban Philadelphia, President Obama reflected on his time in office, saying although he has not been perfect, he has kept his promise to remain focused on improving people’s lives.
Obama told the workers that when he first visited their plant as a candidate three years ago he pledged to take their struggles and dreams with him to the Oval Office.
"I have kept that promise," Obama said.
"I’m going to keep pushing and I’m going to keep fighting for you," he said. "That’s what I think about every single day when I wake up — 'what matters to you.'"
The visit to Gamesa Wind Corp., which is located in an important battleground state, was the president's first trip outside of Washington, DC since he launched his 2012 reelection campaign on Monday. Gamesa is the first overseas wind manufacturer to set up a full production facility in the U.S.
The purpose of the trip was to highlight the president’s plan to boost clean energy, but at times it seemed as though the president was in full campaign-mode explaining many of his administration’s accomplishments.
For example, the president gave a shout-out to Ron Bloom, who the president said – as a member of White House task force on the automotive industry – "helped us save the auto industry."
In a number of areas things are getting better for Americans, Obama explained to the Gamesa workers, who asked questions about education, gas prices, exports and jobs.
"Day by day, week by week, year by year we slowly make more progress," said Obama.
He did, however, caution that change takes time.
"In our own individual lives – whether it’s trying to build a career, or raise your kids, or get exercise, it starts step at a time, and then slowly you make progress. And after a year, two years, five years later, you look back and you say, ‘you know what, I’m in a better place right now.’ The country is the same way."
Hoping to show he understands the pain caused by high gas prices, President Obama pushed his plan to promote homegrown energy, cut energy exports by one-third, and double the amount of electricity the U.S. gets from clean sources. "I know this whole issue of high energy is on the minds of people right now partly because you’re paying more at the pump," he said. "We’ve got to have a sustained energy policy that is consistent," said Obama.
Obama's tone was different from the last time he was running for president, he did not make any big promises to the Gamesa workers.
"We’ve gone through a very tough couple of years and I’m not going to guarantee you standing here suddenly every single challenge we have is going to go away overnight."
But, said the president, things are improving.