The day after talking about job creation during his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama visited an Asheville manufacturing plant to spread the same message.
Air Force One landed at the Asheville Regional Airport about 11:25 a.m. The presidential motorcade then headed to Linamar Corporation for Obama's speech. Protesters and onlookers lined some of the roads along the route.
Linamar is a manufacturing plant that develops systems for the automotive industry. The company took over the plant after Volvo left in 2011.
One of Volvo's former employees, Stratton Tatum, introduced the president after telling his story of losing his job to the economic downturn, just after learning he would be having twins.
Obama started his speech with a lot of the same points he made during his Congressional address Tuesday night - car sales are up and the housing market is starting to recover. He said despite the positives, there is more work to do.
"Our job as Americans is to restore that basic bargain that says if you work hard, if you're willing to meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead," Obama said.
In addition to increasing the minimum wage, the president said he wants to invest in education, new energy and infrastructure in an effort to bring more jobs to the country. He said he also wants to create more high-tech centers for manufacturing, make the tax code more competitive, partner with local leaders to create new investment opportunities and increase training for workers.
Obama cited Linamar as an example of what is happening all over the country. He said America is becoming more competitive and more productive, resulting in companies like Ford and Apple bringing jobs back from overseas.
"As long as you're out here fighting every day to better your lives and to better the lives of your children, then I'll be back in Washington, fighting for you," Obama said.
Obama enjoys Asheville - a lot
Wednesday's visit was the president's fourth visit to the western North Carolina city.
As a candidate, then Senator Obama campaigned for the nation's highest office in 2008. Two years later, the president and first lady vacationed in Asheville. In 2011, Obama spoke at the Asheville Regional Airport during his second presidential campaign.
Before delving into his jobs plan Wednesday, the president reinforced the widely-held belief that he loves the mountain city.
"There are two things that keep bringing me back here," Obama said. "Number one is I really like the people. And number two is 12 Bones (a barbecue restaurant), which I will be stopping on the way back to the airport."
The president even joked that after his presidency is over, he and the first lady might decide to settle down in Asheville.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:20:45 GMT
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