President Obama Pitches Road to Economic Recovery

President Obama proposes foundation for sustainable economic growth in his prosperity plan.
32:47 | 07/25/13

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Transcript for President Obama Pitches Road to Economic Recovery
This is a special room. Report from ABC news. I'm -- -- New -- with an ABC news digital special report president Obama's big pin it. To economic issues landing him in Jacksonville floor today looking at a live shot of the presidential podium there. Where he is expected to warn Americans that Washington Republicans. Are threatening the economic recovery speech the second in -- series ought to be delivered to audiences around the country. And as were waiting for the president to make its way to the podium we're joined by ABC's papers in Washington DC this afternoon. Mary good afternoon to you. I can't say I'm doing well thank you so what has been a response in the capital house Republicans in particular has the president -- skipping town -- -- -- Is teeing up the budget battles to come this spot. Next he's getting a series of speeches in which he's touting his economic plan and say Republicans are getting in the way of progress that they are the ones that are hampering. Any further development and job creation and economic progress really the Republicans and they're not buying it basically this -- all sort of publicity stunt. The the president is just giving speeches and that it's a complete waste of time that he should be focusing -- -- efforts and energy here in Washington. And that has been. Recited a few times over and periods before we go let's announcer sort of sort of -- president is that vote. Him a big round of applause. MOL America. -- your -- your shoot up. Here -- for for having me here today. I brought along our new secretary of transportation Anthony box he is here. Wonderful congresswoman Corinne brown haired. Of the -- yeah. I would like to recognize the folks from the -- and trade pact for shown me the cranes you've got back at the terminal. -- -- Some serious business and and -- just watching. What was going on down here and knowing what's possible. Is a reminder. All the potential that we've got in this -- To put folks to work to rebuild America. To make sure that everybody's got a fair shot. You know yesterday in -- -- talked about what we need to do as a country. To build a better -- a better bargain. For the middle class. And everybody who's trying to get in the middle class. The strategy that we've got to -- to got to make sure that everybody who works hard. Has a chance to get ahead. In this 21 century economy. Because for decades a growing middle class was the engine of our prosperity it's what made us great. If you work -- You know your work was going to be war. With fair wages. Good benefits. The chance to buy a home. Save for retirement. And most of all the chance to pass down a better life to your kids. That's the American dream. But eventually that engine. -- prosperity began to stall. Yet technology. That makes some jobs obsolete you -- globalization which meant some jobs got shipped overseas. Unions got. Weaker in part because some laws that we passed and so. For most of the last decade. People were working harder and harder just to get back. And then you have a devastating recession. Because. What happened in the financial markets. And that cost millions of Americans their jobs in their homes and their savings. And what it did was laid bare -- -- to see the steady erosion. Of middle class security that had been happening for. Almost a generation. Now the good news is that after nearly five years since that financial crisis happened. Thanks to the hard work and the resilience the American people Americans bought back. So together we saved an auto industry and I and I was told it. The terminal I was that as one of places where we're sending out more American cars than ever before. All around. We took a lot of broken health care system. We invested a new American technologies to reverse our addiction to foreign oil we doubled our production of clean energy. Would put in place tough new rules on the big banks and the mortgage lenders and credit card companies to make sure that we didn't have the same kinds of financial. Shenanigans that we have seen before. We change the tax code that was too skewed in favor the wealthy. Make sure. It was doing more for middle class and working class families we locked in tax cuts for 98% of Americans. And -- we asked folks of the top to pay a little bit more. So you add all this up and over the last forty months. Our businesses -- created seven point two million new jobs. This year were off to our strongest private sector job growth since 1999. Strongest job growth. And -- over a decade. So today we sell more products made in America the rest of the world than ever before our exports of search. We produce more natural gas than any country on -- We're about to produce more of our own oil that we back from overseas. That's the first time that's happened in nearly twenty years. The cost of health care. Is growing at its slowest rate in fifty years. And our deficits are bawling at the fastest rate in sixty years. You've got health care costs start to slow down deficits. Plummeting. Jobs up exports up. Energy production up. We've cleared away the rubble. From the financial crisis thanks to the grit and resilience -- the American people. And we've begun -- -- a new foundation for stronger more durable more sustainable. Economic growth and with the revolutions that are coming and energy and technology and manufacturing and health care. Were poised to be able to finally reverse some of those forces. That were certain middle class families for so long we can start rebuilding an economy where everybody who works hard to get ahead. That's our goal. I'm here to tell you today what you -- now. We're not there yet. In a lot of ways those trends that have been building for decades this this winner take all economy where a few folks have -- better and better and better of the top. And everybody else is just treading water. Those trends have been made worse by the recession. -- reversing those trends should be Washington's highest priority. It's my -- -- Unfortunately over the past couple years in particular. Washington -- just ignore the problem what just made things worse. And you know sometimes when you're on the outside you look and it just sounds like -- bunch -- noise and you don't know what's going on between Democrats and Republicans. You know my attitude is that. -- -- all Americans first. And there's no no party has a monopoly on good ideas. And I think there are a number Republicans out there who mean well although they're not always want to say so. Because -- -- got in trouble. But right now we've -- a group for Republicans. In the house in particular. Who suggest they wouldn't vote to pay the very bills that congress are direct. That -- our recovery. Back in 2011. It would severely -- to get a good plunges back in a financial crisis. Over the last six months the -- gotten worse. There are number of Republican senators -- trying to get things done. They passed a strong immigration bill that economists say will boost our economy by more -- trillion dollars. But so far we have mail get the house Republicans to given -- vote. And if you ask some of these same folks about how big strength in the middle class. They'll tell -- well. Out of control government spending is the problem. Despite the fact that as a share of the economy we have cut the deficit by nearly half since I took office. Or -- say Obama says the problem. But the problem is that worked try to develop insurers -- millions of Americans who don't have it. I gotta tell you. -- our businesses created twice. Have created jobs nearly twice the pace of the last recovering. When there was -- obamacare so it's kind of hard to figure how obamacare is actually the problem -- people health insurance. And by the way tens of millions of Americans now have new benefits like free check ups and cheaper medicine on Medicare. So they don't think that's a problem. The point is -- an analyst distraction -- political posturing and phony scandals and lord knows what. Washington keeps taking -- -- off the ball. And that needs to stop. We've got to stop -- the short term thinking we've got to stop without. -- debates. That's not what the moment requires. A focus on the core economic issues that matter to you see the matter to middle class Americans. All those are trying to get on the malt glass that's what this moment requires we've got -- -- focus on how to rebuild an economy that works for everybody. That might well. Want -- repairs -- -- another budget battle another budget debate. The stakes could not be higher. At a time when we need to make investments to create jobs and strengthen the middle class and grow our -- Because we got competition coming from all around the world. We've got. Some of the house -- Bogans. You know put forward a budget that does -- How does it. They're -- bills that would cut education cut science cut research. -- us from -- these priorities. We should be doubling down on American clean energy technology they're creating jobs lowering dangerous carbon pollution. They want to protect taxpayer giveaways to big oil companies. What others countries when the race for. The jobs of the future. Doesn't make sense. Instead helping -- -- students aboard a college degree and that the jobs of tomorrow increasingly demand. They want to slash funding for the very grants that help students make their tuition -- Instead of giving more -- is the security of decent health care. That wallet insurance companies reinstate lifetime dollar limits and and drop millions of people from their -- And if we don't make the necessary investments. To ensure that America is a magnet for good jobs investments in education manufacturing research. And transportation and information networks. We're just waving the white flag and -- other countries as as they forge ahead in this global com. -- that kind of attitude. Is saying there's nothing we can do to help middle class families compete in women grow and that's a bad bargain for the middle class. So that's why came down to Jacksonville today I want you involved in this debate and remind Washington what's at stake. And over the next several weeks in cities and towns just like this. I'm -- lay out my ideas for how we build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America. What it takes to work your way into the middle class in America. And what we can do -- help families. Not help special interest -- help families. That's what we need. It's good. -- The three month plan or even a three year plan we've got to have a long term plan based on steady persistent effort. To reverse the forces that are that are conspiring against. Middle class families that's what I'm pushing for. And I like I said I think that there are Democrats and Republicans. Who understand what's at stake. And -- -- welcome ideas from anybody across the political spectrum. But I'm not gonna let gridlock or inaction. Or indifference to the plight of families get -- of this country. Sold so where I connect my -- -- -- -- won't wait for congress. Good choice we make right now will determine whether or not. Every American will have a fighting chance in the -- percent. So we know what those cornerstones. Of real middle class security -- A good job with good wages. A good education. A home you can call -- wrong. Affordable health care that's there for you when you get sick. A secure retirement even if you're not rich. More chances for folks to earn their way in the middle class -- -- there won't work hard for. But I'm here today to as to specifically talk about the corners on the essence of middle class period that's a good job in growth industries we -- help more manufacturers bring more job back to America. We've got to keep creating good. In manufacturing. We -- -- good jobs in wind and solar energy we -- Tap into this natural gas revolution let's bring energy costs down in this country which means manufacturers not -- -- locate here because -- thank him. That we got durable reliable supplies of energy. We've got to create more jobs today doing what you're doing right here -- -- sport and that's building this country's future. When -- modern schools for our kids. We -- modern power grids and fuel networks that can withstand stronger storms. And we -- modern ports. So we can move more goods made in America. Out to the rest of the world. If you want to create jobs right now. But also job we'll have impacts. Four years. Here's the way to -- it. We know strong infrastructure is a key ingredient to a thriving economy. That's the United States became the best players in the world of business. Unfortunately over the past two years to many folks in Washington. Have been cutting these investments. The world can't wait for congress. To get its act together. -- -- let me give an example. -- -- you're familiar with this in a couple years new super tankers are gonna start coming through the Panama Canal. Those super tankers can -- three times the amount of cargo. We want those super -- Coming here to Jacksonville. Super tankers come in here. That means more jobs. At the terminals. That means more warehouses in the surrounding area. That means more contractors to get jobs or not those warehouses. I mean -- -- more -- man at the restaurant. I -- the waitress as more money to spend. The -- that Bob. It starts. Working for everybody. If we want our workers and businesses to compete. That our ports have to be ready to receive those super -- otherwise they'll go to Brazil or some other flights. So that's why last year I acted without congress. And I took executive action to speed up the permanent process. That -- workers breaking ground on projects like this one. The private companies. Came on board -- to export. They sought as a good investment. And we're building the same got a partnerships across the country. Especially by the way this summer's gulf ports. Charleston. Savannah. And -- these -- are on track to be better prepared for those super tankers. And their cargo -- ahead of schedule. But we've now got to keep that. The business -- up tomorrow will not locate near old rolls out dated reports. They're -- to go to places where the ports are good. The roads are good the rail lines are good you've got high speed Internet you've got high tech schools train workers system that moved. Air traffic and auto traffic faster. Think thing about in terms of your own house. Right. They -- if you got a leaky -- And you haven't done the top -- And and the boilers didn't -- -- old -- You consider yourself what -- save money by not fixing -- -- -- -- save money by not in the -- boil. And another worry about that -- point. And then. Two years later but is down the road what happens. How starts breaking down. You end up spending more money. We can't defer. Things that we know we're gonna have to do. And by the way would put people to work right now don't. But that's what we're -- right now as -- shirt dark economy. We're investing less in rebuilding America than we did two decades ago. Were spending less on. Fixing. Our infrastructure. -- China is. Then Germany yes. All are competitors they know we've got to start taking care of the stuff we're lagging behind. And the irony is. Right now it's cheaper to build than it's been since the 1950s. You've got a whole bunch of construction workers who are looking for work right now. You've got a whole bunch of contractors will come in under. What would low bids and the comment. On time. So -- the time for -- to -- what the longer we put this off. The more expensive it will be the less competitive will be. So why are we don't. A part of its just politics right now but. Don't making sure we've got world class infrastructure that's shouldn't be a partisan issue. That's an American as -- it's not a Republican or democratic issue. But this year's budget cuts have delayed too important -- transit projects right here in Jacksonville. Don't carry more people into downtown alleviate congestion. At the same time. And put more Floridians back to work. We can do better in that. The bipartisan bill the senate to fund critical improvements in our highways our bridges our transit and rail systems our and our ports like this -- And so the house should act quickly on that bill let's get more Americans back on the job doing the work America needs done that won't be good for middle. Class families that will be good for middle class security that will be good for home ownership that would be good for education. They're Smart. And to -- let's get well let them know. I tell my Republican friends. This is not a partisan issue. The first bought them presents a guy from my home state is pretty -- present name Abram like. Get a whole lot of things to worry about. -- a civil war. -- -- the biggest crisis that this country ever experienced and yet in the middle of that he was still thinking about how do we. Bill -- transcontinental. Railroad. How we got to widen our. Our canals and and our ports so that we can move products. All around the country and eventually the world. How do we invested. In land grant colleges so that our workers are now skilled and can get those new jobs. Reinvest in the National Science Foundation. To make sure that we stay ahead of everybody else when it comes to technology he made those investments. The first Republican president. And say well. That that's not the job of government to help do that. He would he would of understood that kind of philosophy. But we understood there's some things we can only do together. And -- and rebuilding our infrastructure is one of creating more good jobs a better bargain for the middle class. Helping folks were working to join the middle class and economy the gross from the middle out. This isn't what I'm going to be focusing on for the next few months because what I'm going to be focusing on. For all the days I've got left in my presence -- counted -- -- 12166. Days left. -- Over the next several which we're gonna roll out these planes. -- take him across the country. We're gonna ask not just congress to do something we're gonna -- Everett for their help CEOs workers. College presidents students. Democrats independents and yes Republicans. I'm I'm laying out my idea is to give the middle class a better shot. And -- the Republicans don't agree with -- I want them to lay out their -- They got a better plan a great job to rebuild our infrastructure and make sure the we've gotten reports. All along the gulf. -- wrong let me know what your ideas are. Unless. If they've got better ideas. To make sure every American knows the security of affordable health care. Well the -- -- -- country. You know repealing obamacare. And slashing budgets of education and research and infrastructure that's not an economic plan. There's no economy. -- it would look at that and -- well that's it that's where we're gonna help middle class families were really gonna grow to a man. Shutting down the government. Just because I'm for keeping an open. That's not an economic plan. Threaten threatening that you won't today the bills in this country. When we've already racked up those bill that -- sound economic plan. -- -- -- -- -- -- Johnson plans -- I don't claim have a monopoly on every good -- -- I don't you know and I. But it's still good ideas from anybody. I just want to make things work. And it may seem hard sometimes but if -- take a few bold steps. If Washington won't just shake off its complacency and set aside justice got constant gridlock and my way or the highway attitude that our economy will be better a year from now just like it's better now there was last year. And -- be better five years from now it'll be better ten years from now. I'm gonna spend every single minute of every day. As long -- the privilege of of this office making sure that I'm doing everything in my power to make this economy. Work for working Americans again to build a better middle class and -- make sure the American dream of. Something -- alive and real. And achievable for decades to come. -- -- President -- -- ship Port Authority in Jacksonville Florida today. Big focus on -- Economic recovery plan a couple of key points brought out. And sent him dressed. And I -- to -- -- ABC's neighbors at the White House this afternoon in their I want to talk to you specifically about a couple of points -- the president brought up first off. Spending less on infrastructure of the USS the president making remarks and what US is doing for infrastructure here spending -- and infrastructure than in China and in Germany. That has really been one of the key tenants that the president has been not only when he was running for election 2008 but also for reelection as well and still. It is something that he brings -- -- in the central Tenet. You -- you hit the nail on the head there this is something here the president talk about quite a bit. Outlined his economic vision and you heard a lot of these points before he has not announced anything new this is not a new proposal from him here. He's going -- and outlining his vision kind of -- -- the public discussion. Get people to focus on the economy focus on his economic plan. He's calling for any new proposals or initiatives here rather he sort of she can't bring home the point that that this is his plan is as what he's calling for and -- calling out Republicans for not putting forth their own plan and that includes spending and investing in -- -- -- what do you make of the comment that he said where I can act of my own I will act on my own I won't wait for congress -- mean. It was -- a shot at Republicans are also for Democrats like be dragging their feet. With a shot at Republicans absolutely no question about that there. Trying to show that he's taking action that he's not waiting for congress to those folks up on Capitol Hill to get their act together and that's actually why he chose to visit -- -- the -- -- at this Pacific port. Because of the port where some of -- executive orders that he passed earlier in the year help to speed up some programs there help to cut some red tape. That's -- that's an -- case where he can go and say look this product that's moving toward because I took action -- I'm doing what I can't. Everything I can do quietly for lawmakers to -- to get -- line that's the message that he's trying to cast here are so what are congressional Republicans saying they want in return than if they pass spending -- by that October 1 deadline. But then the real question here is that we have these -- -- -- ten million debt negotiations the deficit and the debt ceiling conversations coming up again. They're running as the president -- against his plans -- they're trying to just say. Anything anything to avoid going for but the president's proposals here so Republicans are standing up to the president they don't they don't believe it. That his proposals are gonna help boost the economy and they want him to come to DC and work with them to come back here to Washington and to sit down. They -- negotiate some things they want to bring down tax cuts that don't wanna be spending so much. On on health care these are big topic they've been hammering all along during his his term in his presidency as well. And he really made a strong call for any kind of bipartisan effort or ideas come forward and economic recovery because he said. The -- -- one point and it seemed like a pretty direct shot at Republicans -- not paying bills. We've already racked up that's on an economic plan that just being -- deadbeat. And that got a huge response from the ground. That was a -- -- and we didn't hear that yesterday the two speeches he gave kicking off his campaign yesterday -- an Illinois. And in Missouri Nevada -- new line and that is a clear shot across the -- to Republicans. He's got a couple months to trying wrap this debate to try and make his point before going to those debt ceiling negotiations. And he's saying that paying your bills is not an option at that makes Republican lawmakers just like Debbie. -- let's step back just just promoting -- just as important as what the president said today. It's also what he has not been -- and much obviously about today yesterday was about the economy focusing solely on the economy. But what about putting the IRS -- Ghazi NSA issues behind him at least politically speaking. -- is that is that part of the agenda of the White House right now. That is absolutely part of the agenda you here saying that Republicans have been distracted -- that congress has been paying attention to the economy. And that sort of color printing even think too much attendant attention to these scandals that we had and got that we've had the IRS. -- all these other issues Edwards noted trying to public's attention away from the president's second term agenda this is a chance for him to try and jumpstart that agenda. Try to get the public and the press to pay more attention to his second term agenda and that means. The economy. Inside and as we are covering right now yesterday he was in Illinois and last night in Missouri today obviously in Jacksonville. Florida still what is the next stop on this economic tour it might just. It sounds like pat that that is certainly holding these guys ABC's neighbors outside the White House Mary thank you for that we appreciate it. Of course have a complete recap of the president's speech from Jacksonville Florida reporter for you there at the big focused boosting the middle class and soliciting all ideas from both sides of the aisle on a stronger economic recovery the president making some. Very blunt statement saying in fact not paying bills we've already racked up that's an economic plan. That's just -- a dead and that got quite a reaction but rather sequencing snapping pictures. Shaking hands as the president making his way. Out of the Port Authority and back to Washington news. I'm Dan Adler in New York with this ABC news digital special. This has been a special report from me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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