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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 71

From a July 20 interview with Jerry Revish of WBNS, Columbus, Ohio:

REVISH: Let's move to the economy for a moment here, Ohio's economy in particular. Manufacturing helped build our state. What do you do to revive that part of our economy in Ohio when those jobs continue to fade away?

OBAMA: Well, I have to say the recovery has been obviously slower than we would like and we're doing everything we can to accelerate hiring. Manufacturing has actually been a bright spot in this recovery. We've actually seen more growth faster in manufacturing than in the rest of the economy. Now part of that is the work that we did in the auto industry, which is obviously very important to Ohio. We were about to see the liquidation of Chrysler and GM, they have come roaring back, they're now making a profit; they're actually increasing market share. Part of it is restructuring and better management but part of it is also starting to look at what are the products of the future? How can we build cars that are fuel efficient, how can we win the race for electric cars? And so this whole area of advanced manufacturing where we focus on the products that we're going to be using in the 21st century rather than in the 19th or 20th century, that's how we can create more and more manufacturing jobs and we're putting a lot of investment in that particularly on the research and development side where the federal government can do some things that typically the private sector is not going to do and I'll give you one example: Advanced battery manufacturing, the batteries that are used in electric cars, we've gone from a two-percent share of the worldwide market now to 30, 40 percent potentially over the next five years of the worldwide market. And those are all good paying jobs in Ohio, in Michigan in areas that have traditionally had a outstanding manufacturing track-record.

REVISH: You know how important Ohio was to your election, what's your strategy to win the state over in 2012?

OBAMA: You know, I'm not thinking about elections I'm thinking about all the families that I hear back from in Ohio and across the country who are, you know, struggling, maybe a spouse has lost a job, they used to have two paychecks, now they got one, trying to make ends meet. Their housing situation has not stabilized so they still have mortgages that may be worth or higher than what the house is worth. You know, young people who are trying to figure out how to afford college, so that's what motivates me on a day to day basis and my attitude is that if we're taking the right steps to improve our education system, if we're rebuilding our infrastructure, our roads and our bridges and putting people back to work, especially construction workers who've been laid off, if we are getting our fiscal house in order, if we're investing in research and development for the kind of advanced manufacturing we just talked about, and the economy's growing, then politics will take care of itself. And that's going to be true in Ohio, that's going to be true across the country.

See also William Galston's analysis of the president's chances in Ohio.