ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports: President Obama used his weekly address to underscore his commitment to “nation-building here at home,” even as polls show growing numbers of Americans doubt that commitment.
Obama said his administration’s “advanced manufacturing partnership” unveiled Friday – a $500 million initiative intended to create synergy around new technologies and spark job creation in the manufacturing sector — could help “renew the promise of American manufacturing.”
It will “help make sure America remains in this century what we were in the last: a country that makes things,” Obama said, “a country that out-builds and out-innovates the rest of the world.”
The president has long said he believes greater government investments in “cutting-edge research and technologies” are essential to a broad U.S. economic recovery.
“We can’t simply cut our way to prosperity,” he said, referring to congressional Republicans’ focus on reducing investment spending. “We need to do what’s necessary to grow our economy, create good, middle-class jobs and make it possible for all Americans to pursue their dreams.”
But Republicans, embroiled in a standoff with the White House over the debt ceiling and deficit reduction deal, insist the manufacturing initiative is the latest proposal with little prospect of reducing the unemployment situation.
“About a year ago … President Obama announced his ‘recovery summer.’ Now, one summer later after the president’s failed policies like the stimulus, the bailout and ObamaCare, 14 million Americans are still out of work and unemployment remains at an unbelievable 9.1 percent,” said Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus in a conference call with reporters Friday.
The latest Associated Press-GfK poll showed growing numbers of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track and that Obama hasn’t been effective in handling the economy. For the first time this year in the poll, a majority said Obama does not deserve re-election.
Still, Obama said he’s optimistic.
“I know these have been tough years for American manufacturing, and all the workers and families who’ve built their lives around it,” he said. “I’m hopeful about the future.”
- Devin Dwyer