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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid