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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid