February 17th, 2012
06:06 PM ET
Everett, WA (CNN) -– On the last day of a three-day fundraising swing, President Obama stopped by Boeing’s Dreamliner assembly facility in Everett, Washington, to tout his administration’s record on expanding U.S. manufacturing.
Speaking in the largest working building in the world, Obama first commended Congress for coming to an agreement on an extension to the payroll tax cut, announcing he intends to sign the bill as soon as he gets back to Washington D.C.
“Congress did the right thing, and voted to make sure that taxes would not go up on middle-class families at the end of this month,” the president said. “Congress also agreed to extend unemployment insurance for millions of Americans, maybe some of your family members who are still out there looking for a job, and I'm going to sign this bill right away when I get back home.”
Congratulating those gathered in the hanger and those watching his remarks from home, Obama pointed to public pressure as the deciding factor in forcing Congress to pass the extension.
“It is amazing what happens when Congress focuses on doing the right thing, instead of just playing politics,” Obama said.
But in his remarks, the president stuck mostly to generalities, calling for reforms to the tax code that would reward corporations that create jobs in the U.S. and for further initiatives to boost domestic manufacturing.
“We can't go back to an economy that was weakened by outsourcing, bad debt, and phony financial profits,” Obama told the crowd. “I want us to make stuff. I want us to sell stuff.”
Voicing a vigorous defense of “government research,” Obama also listed several of the technologies used in the state-of-the-art Boeing jet behind him that wouldn’t have been possible without government funding. He then laid out a refrain that voters are likely to hear many more times in the months ahead. Sounding optimistic about the struggling U.S. economy, the president told the crowd that the economic tide was “beginning to turn our way.”
“Over the last 23 months, businesses have created 3.7 million new jobs. American manufacturers are hiring for the first time since the 1990’s. The American auto industry is back. Our economy is getting stronger. And that's why we can look towards a promising future,” the president said.