CHANDLER, Ariz. - Taking the stage in his second event of the day, President Obama seemed to bask in the glow of being back on the road as he courted voters in Arizona, a state he hopes to turn blue come November.
"You can't have better weather than this, can't do it," the president, having removed his jacket, told workers gathered outside at an Intel chip manufacturing plant that is under construction.
The president called the plant "an example of an America that is within our reach."
It will be "a factory so big, I'm told that right there is the world's largest land-based crane," the president said, with the massive crane looming in the background.
"I decided I had to check this out for myself - because, honestly, first of all, who wants to miss out a chance to see the crane? That thing is huge," Obama said, prompting laughs from the crowd.
As he did in his earlier speech in Iowa, the president repeated the themes of Tuesday night's State of the Union address.
"Our economy is getting stronger and we've come too far to turn back now. After all that's happened, there are folks in Washington who want to do that, who want to turn back," he said. "They want to go back to the very same policies that got us into this mess - same policies that have stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for too many years, a philosophy that says we're better off if everybody is just fending for themselves and everybody can play by their own rules. … I'm here to say they're wrong."
The president said he was happy to see Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., at the State of the Union address Tuesday night.
"I was able to give her a big hug and just tell her we could not be more happy to see her," he said. "She just looked gorgeous last night. She's been an inspiration."
Giffords retired from Congress today to focus on her recovery after she was shot in the head at a meet-and-greet event last year in Tucson, Ariz.
"Michelle and I are going to be thinking of her as she continues her recovery here in Arizona," Obama said. "And she loves this state and she loves all of you. So it was wonderful to see her."