President Obama is shining a spotlight on Elkhart, Indiana – the first city he visited as president – calling it a symbol of America’s economic recovery. He returned Wednesday with a message that looks toward November’s election.
Elkhart is a city heavily reliant on manufacturing, particularly the RV industry. And when President Obama visited in 2009, unemployment was nearly 20 percent. Seven years later, that rate is now below 4 percent. And the president says his administration’s policies, including the stimulus and the Affordable Care Act, have helped drive that recovery.
To continue that improvement, he says, requires votes in November that reject what he calls policies aimed at eliminating worker protections, kicking people off health insurance, and cutting taxes of the wealthiest Americans.
“Fortunately, there’s another path that leads to more jobs and higher wages and better benefits and a stronger safety net and a fairer tax code and a bigger voice for workers,” Obama said.
Indiana Republican leaders, including Gov. Mike Pence, say the president shouldn’t take credit for Elkhart’s recovery, arguing the city’s resurgence is in spite of the Obama administration’s policies.