Barack Obama returns today to a key state with a key pitch to voters.
He's in Michigan to kick off the second week of a tour focused on the economy, and this week he plans to outline his "plans to make America more competitive for the 21st century’s global economy," Obama's campaign says.
In a speech at Kettering University in Flint, Obama laid out "his comprehensive national competitiveness agenda, including his plans to improve our education system, achieve energy security, encourage innovation, rebuild our infrastructure, and pursue smart trade policies so that we create the jobs of the future here in America," the campaign statement continued.
"There are some who believe that we must try to turn back the clock on this new world; that the only chance to maintain our living standards is to build a fortress around America; to stop trading with other countries, shut down immigration, and rely on old industries. I disagree," Obama said. "Not only is it impossible to turn back the tide of globalization, but efforts to do so can make us worse off."
He said the election presents a clear choice. "Instead of reaching for new horizons, George Bush has put us in a hole, and John McCain’s policies will keep us there. I want to take us in a new and better direction. I reject the belief that we should either shrink from the challenge of globalization, or fall back on the same tired and failed approaches of the last eight years. It’s time for new policies that create the jobs and opportunities of the future– a competitiveness agenda built upon education and energy, innovation and infrastructure, fair trade and reform."
On education, that agenda includes improving early childhood programs, funding No Child Left Behind, paying teachers more, and creating a tax credit for the first $4,000 of college tuition, in return for public service. On energy, his plan includes investing in alternative fuels and creating 5 million new green jobs by investing $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels, renewable energy, and low-emissions coal plants. On research, Obama says he will double federal funding for basic research, make the Research and Development tax credit permanent, and make available next-generation broadband Internet access to every American community.
On transportation, he proposes a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance federal transportation investments. And on trade, Obama pledge to increase enforcement of deals, and to update copyright and patent systems.
Blair Latoff, a Republican National Committee spokeswoman, responded: “Obama’s proposals for raising taxes and limiting free trade will make America less competitive and will not create new jobs or promote prosperity. Whether it is smacking job-producing small businesses with a massive tax hike, or voting to raise taxes on Americans making as little as $32,000, Barack Obama’s ideas always end with hardworking people picking up the tab.”
Obama also plans a rally tonight at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, and another event Tuesday in Wayne County
Michigan, with its economic struggles and 17 electoral votes, is crucial to his path to victory in November, Obama's campaign manager says
The presumptive Democratic nominee's electoral map includes holding onto the states Senator John F. Kerry won in 2004, including the swing states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire, Plouffe told donors and former supporters of Hillary Clinton last week, the Associated Press is reporting.
His map also includes Virginia, Georgia, and several Rocky Mountain states, but not necessarily the pair of battlegrounds that decided the last two elections -- Florida and Ohio, the AP says.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.