President Obama at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Obama visits Cooperstown, NY to stress how tourism can lead to good paying jobs.
15:48 | 05/22/14

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Transcript for President Obama at the Baseball Hall of Fame
This is a special room. A few days ago it was hanging out with some little leaguers at Washington State how -- after dropping dropping off Press Secretary Jay Carney. At his daughter's day today -- live a different look. Hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York President Obama is visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame today. And in doing so becomes the first sitting president to set foot in the shrine to America's past time. In fact a hall of fame spokesman says Obama it is only the second president ever to visit Cooperstown. Home to the hall since it opened in 1936. The last president guests Maarten van Buren this gentleman right here the eighth president an 1839. About 97 years before the hall's doors first opened. And we are joined now from Washington by ABC news political director Rick Klein Rick. President Obama making this -- -- attracted baseball's Mecca but it's always about business and the strip is no different right. Two pieces of business one is the economic development agenda this is about tourism this is about. Driving dollars to parts of the country to sometimes distressed parts of the country that need. This support from -- dollars and in the Baseball Hall of Fame in upstate New York is a perfect example of that other sports halls are good ones as well in terms of attracting. International. And domestic visitors the other reason businesses fundraisers and and this is literally on the way. Home to Chicago where he'll be headed later today to start raising some money again for the party committees for the congressional races so. -- you can knock off two bits of business -- called double -- Her double -- earlier in the day the president met with some travel industry executives. International tourism is up so how much of a boost is that to this uneven economy. -- it's important and the president knows that it is an it is -- top tier priority but it's pretty close and I think. Did the idea highlighting an offense around this -- you know you got some press coverage because it's the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is an obvious connection that says that he can -- to that -- is the president is particularly connected to baseball he's had some pretty embarrassing moments throwing out first pitches but he does know the importance of tourism and I think trying to highlight that eight million jobs in this country directly it's attached to this tourist industry. He knows that that is the key being it's part of the economic recovery coming into the summer months a good time -- that. Thanks Rick began keeping with that baseball analogy President Obama is up to bat let's go to Cooperstown and listen -- Yes. At the hall's request I contributed -- my own which was rejected -- war when I threw out the first pitch of the 2009 all star game. I hear that would all -- -- media attention about it there was also some interest in the genes I wore that night. But. Mission -- the -- retired those -- quarter. Quite a while back. -- I love baseball America loves baseball. It continues to be our national pastime and for any baseball cannot -- out there you've got to make -- trip here. But as much as I'd love to talk up baseball all day and where -- A Chicago legends Andre Dawson Mohawk here today it's hard not to want to talk baseball -- long. I'm actually here to talk about jobs. Good middle class jobs. And believe -- -- not places like. This institution. The hall of fame have -- to do -- jobs. And economic growth. You know it's been about five and a -- years since the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. Hit and thanks to the grit and determination the American people but we've -- -- fighting our way back. Over the last four years our business created nine point two million new jobs. We -- an auto industry that was flat lining it's come roaring back. A manufacturing sector that it lost about 13 of its jobs in the last decade is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. And rather than create jobs in other countries. More and more companies. Are recognizing that it makes sense to invest right here in America. We've got great workers we've got the largest market in the world -- got a whole bunch of stuff won't force and we start to see in sourcing rather than outsourcing of jobs so. We've made progress. But here's the thing too many Americans out there is still working harder than ever. And can't seem to get it. And so we have to do more. To spur growth and economic development and create more jobs to pay -- good wage. We should be making it easier not harder for businesses to invest and create jobs here in the United States. We should be making sure that people are rewarded for hard work and responsibility. Rather than -- their wages and salaries stagnate and we should be making it easier not harder for striving youngsters. To afford the higher education that's going to be the key to. A lot of 40% for jobs and make sure that they can repay all that long that that too often -- taken -- wrong when they go to college. There's a new bill by the way being introduced in congress -- coming weeks it's gonna really do more to make sure the college students are getting a fair shot. Of course unfortunately we've got congress spent. All too often -- spends. A few days a week blocking initiatives. To create jobs and raise wages and help young people go to college. They seem to be more interest in politics right now than performance. And that's challenge. I'll work would anybody. Who's focused on what we need to be focused on and -- all the people who sent us to Washington are focused on and that is how we improve the economy and create more jobs. But if congress is -- act. Then I'm gonna do whatever and and and any steps I can take. To create jobs and opportunity for more -- in France. -- -- so far we've seen for example the house Republicans blocked. Legislation that would raise America's minimum wage so I've been working with states and cities and businesses to go ahead and raise their minimum wage anyway. And I issued an executive order making sure that if you are contractor with the federal government you've got to pay your workers. Higher minimum wage at least ten dollars and ten cents -- out. Because I believe that if you work full time shouldn't be improper. We saw senate Republicans block an up or down vote on ensuring equal pay for what. I went ahead took action on my own to make it easier for women to find out whether they're being treated fairly on the workplace after workplace and to be able to take action. And when it comes to creating jobs last week I was down in Terry town where workers were able to break ground on the replacement Tappan Zee Bridge. Ahead of schedule because my administration fast tracked. That project -- lot of major projects across the country. On Tuesday -- met with CEOs from around the world. Weren't investing and hiring in -- mirror because we've made our country more competitive. And today I'm here in Cooperstown. To talk about some new steps that will lead to more tourism. Not just within America but. Getting more folks to come and visit the treasurer's the national treasures that we have all across this country including. The Baseball Hall of Fame right -- -- staff because tourism translates into jobs and it translates -- the economic. When visitors come here. They don't just check alcohol. -- rent cars they stay in hotels. They eat at restaurants. And that means. For upstate New York the Baseball. Hall of Fame is -- powerful economic engine. Last year alone travel and tourism were responsible for one point five trillion dollars in economic activity across the country. Think about that one point five trillion dollars. Supporting nearly eight million jobs in communities like this. And when tourists come from other countries and spend money here that's actually considered a type of export. -- always think about that -- but we show it. Mopping. Says made in America better but man there -- a -- Or -- date. Folks who work at restaurants and hotels. That serve fans in Cooperstown -- the kinds of jobs that can't be offshore. And obviously it's tough to ship the Rocky Mountains or the Grand Canyon overseas you can't do -- When it comes to tourism. The good news is we've got a great product to -- people want to come here. I was reminded of that -- took a walk from the White House to the department in your -- keep in mind I don't get a chance to take Walter off. Secret Service. Gets a little stressed. But every once and awhile I'm able to sneak off. You know it via I'm and sort of like the circus bear the kind of breaks the chain and I got -- start taking off from her restaurants restaurant the bears lose. So I go -- take a walk it was a beautiful day it. And. Even though I went for several blocks has brought about a ten minute walk. It in that will span -- time I met tourists from Germany and Israel and Brazil. And China. And Ukraine. On the National -- The fact that people come from all over the world to see our parks to see our minds. It's something we should take great pride in as Americans and it's good for our economy. So just like we're helping our businesses to sell more goods made in America in markets all across the world. Work spending a lot of time and focus trying to make it easier. For folks from around the world to come see America and spend money. Four years ago I signed a law that set up a nonprofit organization -- one mention that mission and that is to pitch. America -- travel destination. And two years ago I went down to Disney World to announce new action to make it simpler for travelers to visit America without compromising. Security at our borders. And those efforts are paying -- Since its low point after the recession. Our travel and tourism industry has added nearly 580000. New jobs. Last year a record seventy million tourists visited America from other countries. More than populations of Texas Florida and New York combined. And they spent their money. No country on her work burns more money from international terrorism than we do. The growth of international terrorism created about a 175000. New jobs over the last five years and helped drive America's exports to an all time -- So -- -- making great strides. In welcoming more visitors to American places like Cooperstown but we can do even better. I want to turn the seventy million -- it. -- last year into a hundred million each year by the beginning of the next decade. And meeting that goal is gonna help. Great job. That's why earlier today I took new actions to meet -- goal. I met with several CEOs of travel and tourism companies and building on the progress we've made. I've directed my administration to work with airports. Airlines hotel groups states and cities. To do more to improve the traveler experience and reduce wait times for folks entering into the United States all without compromising. Our secure. We have some folks here today were already showing us what's possible. Scott Donahue is the CEO of the Dallas Fort Worth airport -- Scott there is right here. We've got. From my own hometown rosary. And -- the aviation commissioner from Chicago. Murder. Rose -- -- the two of them are responsible for two of the busiest airports in America. But the average wait times through customs and passport control -- DFW and -- -- has fallen to just fifteen minutes you get up your plane takes you fifteen minutes to get through if you're an international trip. And that is a big deal. If folks spend less time at the airport there -- more likely. -- Come back for return trip and when they go back home they told -- friends you know what America was there to greet us. And -- made clear that national security remains our top priority that's not gonna change but there's no reason we can't. Replicate the success stories -- places like Dallas and Chicago. All around the country. We can automate passport controls we can bring in top talent from private sector to find best practices -- that helped move lines faster. We can add new staff at customs. We want to bring in more visitors faster but more jobs faster they come into JFK. Faster they comment LaGuardia faster than they can get to Cooperstown -- Make and start seeing -- Imagine those gloves -- -- -- -- -- -- That of course President Obama speaking at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York. Again we have ABC news political director Rick Klein joining us from Washington. Rick baseball may be America's past time but another favorite the political blame game on display today anything -- that the president's. -- line of attack on Republicans. Only a little bit about about congressional inaction he'd like to see some more movement on job bills to help boost these industries say yes he -- -- a little bit of politics that'd be in between the references to Joseph DiMaggio Babe Ruth. And what was -- president trying to drive home here about tourism. He wants Americans that feel good about the American economy to be more confident to spend more money -- summer. And -- to do more to grow jobs that draw foreign it is the foreign visitors this country as well I've it is interesting that he referenced that out walking trip that he took yesterday I think. A lot of the people cover the White House can understand what he's doing but I guess he was walking around looking for an -- -- -- in the -- does he brought home about. Foreign visitors from places like China and Ukraine in the United States -- all about just. Of an economy that's on the move in America that's got its groove back and they can attract people here from other countries. Fantastic the president as you noted on his way home to Chicago later for some fund raisers. Are we going to see a lot more of those as we get closer to the mid term Election Day. That's right -- under six months now so -- it is it is crunch time we have big batch of primaries earlier this week we've got some more primaries on -- in the coming weeks and in the general election is on. And you see the president begins a frame up the choice is the way that he intends to make this work. And he's going to be -- a lot time raising money in part because he can't spend a lot of time campaigning with candidates because the candidates that are most endangered mostly don't -- there. Where is -- a lot more of the clintons bill and Hillary -- especially after Hillary Clinton's book comes out a couple of weeks. And we -- gonna see President Obama in the swing districts in the swing states that are determined control of the senate so the only thing he can do practically speaking is raise a lot of money. ABC news political director Rick Klein thank you. Thank you you can keep up -- watching the president -- ABC news digital live stream channel. And of course this has been an ABC news did you live coverage of President Obama keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- -- the story for exclusive updates on the ago. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

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

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