Obama embarks on jobs tour

President hopes to convince Americans economy is recovering.
Associated Press
May 10, 2013

Aiming to show he's still focused on creating jobs, President Barack Obama is beginning a series of quick trips around the country to resurrect ideas from his State of the Union address that became overshadowed by the intense debates over gun control, immigration and automatic spending cuts.

Obama on Thursday was dropping in on Austin, Texas, and using that bustling state capital as a backdrop to talk about attracting jobs, providing skills training and ensuring that hard work begets a decent living.

The president argued in February's State of the Union address that an economy that is growing and creating well-paying middle-class jobs must be the guiding principle for Washington policymakers. He proposed a broad expansion of pre-kindergarten to accommodate every 4-year-old, calling it a smart investment that will help improve educational outcomes, along with raising the federal minimum wage to $9 to help working families. Both ideas faced almost immediate resistance from some lawmakers who said the proposals cost too much and could stunt the economy, and Obama has barely discussed either proposal since then.

At the time of the speech, the debate over gun-control legislation was heating up following the December massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators at a Connecticut elementary school. A bipartisan group of senators was drafting a sweeping immigration bill desired by both political parties, and Congress and the White House were blaming each other for $85 billion in automatic spending cuts that would kick in March 1.

The series of field trips Obama begins Thursday marks an attempt by the president to remind the public that he hasn't forgotten about the issue that concerns them the most: the economy and jobs. The outing also comes amid questions about whether the second-term president has enough sway to get his agenda through a divided Congress before attention turns to the November 2014 midterm elections.

Since his second inauguration, Obama has lost a bid to expand background checks for gun buyers and was similarly unsuccessful at getting lawmakers to undo the spending cuts. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin considering and voting on scores of proposed changes to the immigration bill, which is facing opposition from conservatives, religious leaders and others.

His jobs proposals have stalled in Congress, with Republicans showing no interest in job-creation plans based on new federal spending. They also argue that Obama's regulatory regime and new health care law — the president's signature domestic policy achievement to date — are hindering more robust job growth.

"The president doesn't seem to understand that it's his policies that are undermining economic growth and job creation," House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday as the president departed.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell ridiculed Obama's trip as mere image-building.

"If you're someone who's all about the visual, then of course putting on a pair of goggles or showing up at a factory is a great way to at least look like you're doing something about job creation," he said.

By traveling to Texas to begin this renewed attention to his jobs initiatives, Obama is choosing a state represented by two of the most conservative Republican members of the U.S. Senate — John Cornyn and tea party hero Ted Cruz. Texas also has the second-highest Hispanic population in the country, an attractive demographic group for Democrats and a key audience for Obama as he also pushes for an overhaul of immigration laws.

Obama's effort to highlight jobs and the economy is buoyed by last Friday's positive jobs report, which found that the unemployment rate had dipped to a four-year low of 7.5 percent in April and employers had added 165,000 jobs — and that far more jobs were added in in February and March than previously thought.

"He's focusing on economic issues that are at the core of his agenda, and have always been at the core of his agenda," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.

But the slowly improving economy masks the stagnant wages and fewer working hours that strike directly at the president's base of support — young people, racial minorities and the less affluent. The average unemployment rate in the first three months of the year was 7.7 percent, but the rate was 13.6 percent for blacks and 9.5 percent for Latinos.

Before Obama departed Washington for a stay of about five hours in Texas, the White House announced a pair of initiatives it said would help the economy in the absence of action by Congress.

The administration announced the launch of a competition to create three new Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, partnerships among businesses, universities and government to help U.S.-based manufacturers and workers create good jobs. Five federal agencies — Defense, Energy, Commerce, NASA and the National Science Foundation — are putting $200 million toward the effort. The president also will ask Congress for a one-time investment of $1 billion to create a nationwide network of 15 such institutes.

The White House also announced an executive order and other steps to make government data more easily available to entrepreneurs, researchers and others who can then use the information to create new products and services, build businesses and create jobs.

Obama planned to visit Manor New Tech High School near Austin, where the curriculum is based on science, technology, engineering and math. He'll hold separate meetings with middle-class workers and technology entrepreneurs, and visit Applied Materials, a high-tech company whose products help make goods like smartphones, flat-screen TVs and solar panels more affordable, according to its website.

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Associated Press writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervil...

 

Comments

Really are you ...

This will challenge the first law of thermodynamics. It will not solve the financial burden imposed upon us by the national debt, completely fix our outdated electrical grid distribution system, or completely reverse global warming (there are other uncontrollable factors involved.). But will start to alleviate those factors and will not pass the buck onto future generations to figure out.

A person can read, listen, watch, and do things and not pay attention to how and why things work the way they do. People can go to college and get tunnel vision, focusing on a particular subject in a certain field. Some people act like they have the answers to everything. As we get older we may get set in our ways, forgetting that we are always learning in life, simply accepting what is happening in life as something that is normal. I do not know everything, but know quite a bit. Skepticism is welcome.

Nor'easter

Just remember that there is a huge number of people who are no longer collecting unemployment benefit and are not being counted in the government statistics. Unemployment is closer to 20% in Ohio. There is a current major effort to terminate people between 50 and 65 in order to not pay their healthcare and retirement benefits, even though this is illegal age discrimination. The unemployed workers are in many cases not collecting unemployment because they were told if they resigned it would look better on their resume than being fired. Major lie that many have found themselves an uninformed victim. Results have been foreclosure of homes, destroyed credit rating, inability to borrow and loss of all assets. And now Obamacare will fine them for not carrying health insurance. Spelled T . r . e . a . s . o . n ! But the Senate will never impeach!

The Big Dog's back

Treason? Really? The American Taliban (Repub tea baggers) are the only ones guilty of treason.

Pete

Progressives are the ones truly guilty of treason. All they want to do is destroy the very principles this country was founded on by demanding others pay their way. Nothing but a bunch of basement dwellers trying to live off other people's labors.

The Big Dog's back

Talk about an old talking point. Leave it to you.

Pete

Kinda like the Bush talking points Daily KOS feeds you?

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

It is always the Republicans’ fault for stopping Obama's legislation, never the inability of Obama to negotiate with the opposition and lead the country.

arnmcrmn

The caption under the headline says it all....President hopes to convince Americans economy is recovering. Hopes to convince.......is that what you have to do to get people on your side? Shouldn't the numbers speak for themselves.

The recovery has been anything BUT stagnant.

Lets see, his focus has been on gun control......which failed miserably.
Budget cuts..........that lasted for about a month.......fail to see any cuts.
Immigration........which will be his next failing effort.....watch and see.

Jobs Jobs Jobs Obama has been any and everything but Jobs Jobs Jobs. Same old line of BS from this lame duck.

OH-IO

If your waiting for a president to get you employed your gravely mistaken about how you should go about it. Presidents in essence only create a few federal jobs. The real issue is outsourcing. You have to be able to make money yourself or sell yourself with an employer. If you think you can't your right and that's the problem.

samiam

Personally, I'd like to see BHO stay in Washington and spend some time actually working instead of galavanting around the country on the taxpayer's dime. After all, he wanted the job but now it seems like he'd rather be anywhere but D.C. Although maybe it's better that he isn't behind his desk. Hopefully if he's flitting from place to place, he's doing less damage to our country.

The Big Dog's back

"our Country"? You mean tea party/Nazi?

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

The Republicans aren't to blame for Obama's incompetence.

4shizzle

Who's to blame for the Republicans incompetence?

2cents

Does his tour end in Beijing or the sweat shops of Bangladesh that produce all the consumer goods that feed the hungry American ego?

arnmcrmn

Heres your LIBERAL IRS and Obamas people abusing their power........
Tea Party groups, Republicans slam IRS for flagging conservative groups

Reaction was swift and harsh after Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, acknowledged the issue at a conference Friday sponsored by the American Bar Association.
She confirmed that organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status.
In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, she said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/...

4shizzle

FOX NEWS is information for idiots.

There you go again

Well, how do explain its #1 rating for, what, 15 years? Have you even watchec Fox? Nope, didn't think so.

KnuckleDragger

He has trouble taking his eyes of Rachel Madcow...looks alot like his ex-boyfriend.

4shizzle

Using my material, eh? KnuckleHeader?

4shizzle

@There you go again

#1 among idiots.
I used to watch it all the time until I realized it WASN'T: fair, balanced, rational, true, or mature.

Nope, you're wrong.

4shizzle

Fox News claims it is #1?
Better get a fact-check on that Always remember: Warning! Republicans speaking !

arnmcrmn

Ratings are calculated by taking the total number of viewers watching and multiplying it by the amount of time they watch. Since people spend bigger stretches of time watching Fox than they do CNN, Fox wins the ratings war and the legitimate claim to be the No. 1 network.

http://www.accessatlanta.com/new...

Fox News Rolls to 11th Year As Number One Cable News Channel

http://www.aim.org/don-irvine-bl...

Doesnt matter what you type in, Fox is number one.......so get over it already.

4shizzle

It really means nothing and I don't care.
Fox is still a pack of lies and liars.
http://www.salon.com/2013/01/05/...

arnmcrmn

@4....so I prove you wrong after you said fox wasn't #1 and this is what you pop up....some salon site. OH MY....how weak and yet how funny. DERP!!!!!!!!! Did you even read that link....Bahahahah..........Hahaha...try harder troll. I own you on this site chump.

CNN should be so proud........Instead of Apologizing CNN Is Outraged By the Backlash Over Their Pro-Rapist Coverage.
http://www.politicususa.com/cnns...

CNN Drips Obama’s Fake Budget “Leak” a Week Early, Chock-Full of Lieshttp://www.mom4freedom.com/2013/...

BUT THIS ONE IS THE BEST...OPEN AND WATCH.... CNN ANCHORS FAKE SATELLITE INTERVIEW IN THE SAME PARKING LOT..watch the cars in the background. This happened just the other day ago. CNN = FAKE

http://www.infowars.com/cnn-anch...
I OWN YOU!!!!!! lol

4shizzle

So, Alex Jones's website www.infowars.com is one your news sources?
FAIL !!!
You are a very troubled person.

CNN is not the Democratic Party, but Fox IS the Republican Party.
Read these from your other source ; http://www.politicususa.com/ they're articles about how the GOP is screwing up about Bengahzi and other things.
Mom4freedom?
You are as bumbling and whacked as contango.
YOU FAILED !

arnmcrmn

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3... Its all over the net.....just google chump....you lose. CNN faked the interview. You want to blast Fox News, Ill blast your beloved CNN.

and the mom4freedom site was a spin on how ridiculous your site above was.........

You lose again at an argument....next topic please....I owned you again.

4shizzle

LiveLeak is as weak as your other news sources.
You are a FAILURE, troubled person.

FYI - I dont watch CNN.I dont know what they say or do.
bye,bye

Alex Jones.....Bwaaaahahahahaha!!!

4shizzle

Nope, you're a FAILURE !

Alex Jones....bwahahahahahah!

4shizzle

@-arnmcrmn, you are creepy.
Also, I'm a man seeking a woman.

arnmcrmn

salon.com.....your a joke. Huge fail

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