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

Contango

The Big Dog's back writes:

"People like Socialism,"

WHO are these "people"?

Answer the question:

"So which of the ten planks of the Communist Manifesto do you disagree with?"

Bonus question:

Which planks of FDR's "Second Bill of Rights" do you disagree with?

The Big Dog's back

Socialism, not Communism winnie. Get it right.

Contango

@ The Big Dog's back:

So for you, socialism is ALWAYS preferable over free market capitalism?

What do you dislike about communism?

Second request for an answer:

What's the difference between socialism and communism?

Centauri

Russia Today provides decent news that the American news media refuses to disclose.

http://rt.com/usa/

shucks

Why don't you move to Russia if you don't trust the USA?
Yeah,the Boston Bombing was a government undercover operation and Sandy Hook never happened. It's all a conspiracy, right?

arnmcrmn

thats what most liberals think.

shucks

No, that's what most Right-wing-nuts believe.

KURTje

4shizzle..oudda da park on that 1! (listen for the noise)

Contango

Speakin' of spreadin' lies and falsehoods:

"They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices."

- Pres. Obama

"IRS Apologizes For Inappropriately Targeting Conservative Political Groups In 2012 Election"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

FORWARD SOVIET!

The Big Dog's back

They should target them any any other group that doesn't pay taxes but advocates for political purposes.

Contango

The Big Dog's back writes:

"They should target them any any other group..."

What the h*ll is an "any any group"?

The IRS originally lied about it and then admitted that they did it.

Later, Press Sec'y Carney blamed Bush!!! ROFLMAO!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d...

The Big Dog's back

So what?

Contango

The Big Dog's back writes:

"So what?"

So the Nixon Admin. using the IRS against their political enemies was OK huh?

The Big Dog's back

So what?

shucks

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

The Big Dog's back

He hates it when someone outwits and outlasts him.

shucks

Absolutely true !!!

shucks

.

Contango

“The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was 'inappropriate' targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.

The agency blamed low-level employees, saying NO HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIALS WERE AWARE (emphasis mine).”

And AG Holder wasn't aware of "Fast and Furious"?

Pres. Obama and Sec'y State Clinton weren't aware of terrorist threats on the Benghazi consulate?

Who the h*ll in this Administration is AWARE?

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/i...

BTW: Tres'y Sec. Geithner oversaw the IRS. For PS Carney to say that it's "an independent agency" is a LIE.

The Big Dog's back

IRS is independent. Wow. More Fox news unsubstantiated claims.

Contango

The Big Dog's back writes:

"IRS is independent. Wow. More Fox news unsubstantiated claims."

ROFLMAO!!! You've got "Fox News" on the brain.

Press Sec'y Carney said it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d...

So you're admitting that Carney is a dope?

"The IRS is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury,"

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_ov...

arnmcrmn

Big Dog doesn't know what to think or how to respond. He pops in and out like a bad case of herpes.

Contango

Sometimes I just like playing with the lil' ignorant troll - sometimes not.

Take him off his talking points, ask him questions and try to make him ACTUALLY think and he folds like an accordion.

H*ll, he doesn’t even live in OH.

The Big Dog's back

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

shucks

contango tries to lure people into his crazy world.

Contango

If you ain't readin' ZeroHedge - you should be!

"IRS Conservative Witchhunt Started In 2011 With High-Level Officials Involved":

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/20...

Waitin' for some left-wing politico to pull a "Hillary" on this scandal too:

"What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?"

Centauri

"President hopes to convince Americans economy is recovering"

True facts should speak for themselves. Perhaps a time clock needs to be installed in the Whitehouse to keep track of Obama staying home and solving the nation's problems instead of going on vacation. Is he going to try for a third term? What has Obama accomplished so far for the good of the nation? He has broken many of his campaign promises including closing down Gitmo.

Former Marine R. Lee Ermey doesn't give Obama much credit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p...

Contango

JOBS?

And what did Pres. Obama use his "Weekly Address" to talk about?

Homeownership????

Tough to own a home without a job. First things first eh?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefi...

KURTje

Boy sure miss Nixon & Agnew. Those pdb's got US into China, help set up that butcher/dictator Pinochet (Chile), who also was liked by Margret Thatcher. Those right-wingers take da cake. HABAbbhabh

Minuteman

We are surrounded by people out of work, or out of a good job hanging on to a part time job. So, if we believe there are more jobs, well, that's our fault for not opening our eyes.

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