News / USA

In Iowa, Obama Underscores Role of Manufacturing in Recovery

President Barack Obama speaks to workers at the Alcoa Davenport Works factory in Bettendorf, Iowa, June 28, 2011
President Barack Obama speaks to workers at the Alcoa Davenport Works factory in Bettendorf, Iowa, June 28, 2011

President Barack Obama paid another visit to the politically-important state of Iowa, as part of his efforts to highlight success from his economic recovery policies.  Iowa will be crucial to Mr. Obama's 2012 re-election prospects, and is a key destination for Republican presidential candidates as well.

The visit to the Alcoa Davenport Works Factory in Bettendorf, Iowa was another in a series Obama has made across the country to highlight examples of strength and innovation in an economy still struggling from the impact of the recession, with an unemployment rate above 9 percent.

The Iowa stop was a follow up to Obama's visit last week to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which also focused on as the importance of technologies and manufacturing, and joint steps by businesses and universities, in boosting job growth and U.S. global competitiveness.

Addressing about 350 employees at Alcoa, the world's leading aluminum products manufacturer, Obama noted that the company was able to re-hire employees laid off during the 2008 financial crisis.

Saying he knows many Americans may be tempted to turn cynical, Obama contrasted what he called "squabbling" in Washington with what he described as the teamwork seen in companies across the country.

"Problem solving all the time," said President Obama. "That is what has made you successful.  That is what will make America successful.  By adapting and innovating but also thinking like a team, instead of turning on each other."

The president's Iowa visit came as the state is in the spotlight for announced or potential Republican presidential candidates challenging Obama's leadership on the economy and other issues.

Republicans have been campaigning there and increasing media advertising ahead of an informal "straw poll" (August 13,2011) seen as a major test for the 2012 Republican presidential field.

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann formally announced her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in Iowa on Monday.  A leader of the activist conservative small government Tea Party movement, she lashed out at Obama's economic policies and predicted he will lose the White House in 2012.

"Make no mistake about it," said Michele Bachmann. "Barack Obama will be a one term president!"

In Washington, President Obama is now deep in the fray of negotiations with Democrats and Republicans on achieving between $2 trillion and $4 trillion in reductions in government deficit spending.

With Republicans resisting Democrat's attempts to find additional revenue sources through tax increases targeting the wealthy, the deficit issue is now linked to an August 2 deadline to raise the government's borrowing limit.

After White House talks with the Senate Democratic and Republican leaders on Monday,  Press Secretary Jay Carney announced that Mr. Obama would meet with a wider group of Senate Democrats on Wednesday.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid warned again of the repercussions of a government default if a compromise cannot be reached and described Republicans as inflexible.  

"The time for empty rhetoric is over," said Senator Reid. "Now it is time for my Republican colleagues to put the good of our economy ahead of their own politics."

Speaking with reporters, Press Secretary Jay Carney provided little in the way of new information, other than to say again the White House believes there is an "opportunity for a substantial deficit reduction" compromise, but one that is balanced.

Carney described the president's meeting with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell as "useful" but declined to elaborate when asked if there was any specific progress from those talks.

As Obama was in Iowa on Tuesday, a new poll showed a high level of public dissatisfaction with the president's handling of the deficit issue.  A new Gallup survey showed American's overall economic confidence remains low, and worse at the end of this month than at a similar point last year.  

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid