In a stop Wednesday in Elkhart County, Indiana, hard-hit by the economic
hardships of the RV industry, President Obama said recovery can be
achieved by creating opportunities in such places as Elkhart County.
“The battle for America’s future will be fought and won in places
like Elkhart and Detroit, Goshen and Pittsburgh, South Bend, Youngstown —
in cities and towns across Indiana and across the Midwest and across
the country that have been the backbone of America,” Obama told a crowd
in Wakarusa. “It will be won by making places like Elkhart what they
once were and can be again — and that’s centers of innovation and
entrepreneurship and ingenuity and opportunity; the bustling, whirring,
humming engines of American prosperity.”
The president spoke to workers at the Monaco RV manufacturing
facility in Wakarusa. It was the fourth time he visited the area in 15
He told the crowd that the government’s economic stimulus program
is succeeding and that the nation is moving from rescue to recovery. He
also announced federal grants totaling $2.4 billion to help boost the
country’s production of electric cars. The money, he said, will come
from the $787 billion economic stimulus package Congress passed earlier
Obama acknowledged the challenges in Wakarusa and Elkhart County.
“This area has been hit with a perfect storm of economic troubles.
Over the last few decades, you’ve borne the brunt of a steadily
weakening of American manufacturing in the face of global competition,”
he said. “You’ve felt the impact of the struggles of American auto
industry and the repercussions that have hit the Midwest especially
hard. And you’re living every day with the consequences of this
recession and the financial meltdown, and you’ve felt it in the form of
lost jobs and lost savings.
“I’m here because I believe our ability to recover — and to prosper
— as a nation depends on what happens in communities just like this
one,” Obama said to applause.