COLUMBUS, Ohio — President Obama wrapped up his two-day, four-state energy tour today with a rousing campaign-style speech in the battleground state of Ohio.
The trip ended just as it began, with the president blasting Republicans who say more drilling is the best solution to spiking gas prices.
”They make fun of clean energy,” the president told the rowdy crowd at Ohio State University of his GOP rivals. “They call the jobs produced by them phony jobs. … They make jokes about them at their rallies.”
Once again, the president declined to name names. “Lately we’ve heard a lot of politicians, a lot of folks who are running for a certain office — they shall go unnamed — they dismiss wind power. They dismiss solar power,” he said, laughing.
While the president touted increased drilling under his administration, he argued that investments in green energy would ultimately ease the pain at the pump.
”The point is, there will always be cynics and naysayers who just want to keep on doing the same things the same way that we’ve always done them,” he said. “We’ve got a choice. … We can keep developing new energy and new technology that uses less oil, or we can listen to these folks who actually believe that the only thing we can do is drill our way out of this problem.”
Facing election-year attacks from Republicans for the rising cost of oil, and with 65 percent of the public disapproving of his handling of gas prices, the president has spent the last two days defending his all-of-the above approach with stops in Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
The basketball-fan-in-chief endeared himself to the students in the packed Ohio State gym early on in his remarks, noting that “a presidential visit isn’t even close to being the biggest thing this weekend on campus.”
”I did have the Buckeyes heading to the Final Four,” he reminded them.
Three other Ohio teams, not in the president’s bracket, also made it to the Sweet 16, something no state has ever done before. “A testimony to Ohio basketball,” the president said.