Mt. Holly, NC (CNN) – President Obama visited the politically important state of North Carolina to release the latest initiative in his strategy to lessen America’s dependence on foreign oil.
In a visit to a Daimler Trucks manufacturing plant in Mt. Holly, North Carolina, he used in clean energy vehicles. The program, the National Community Deployment Challenge, is similar to the administration’s efforts in education called “Race to the Top.”
The initiative is aimed at increasing alternatives to oil and improving fuel efficiency in vehicles. It includes accelerating production of alternative-fuel vehicles and offering a $10,000 discount in the form of a tax credit for purchasers of cars with clean and advanced technology.
“We’ve got to develop every source of American energy - not just oil and gas, but wind power and solar power, nuclear power, biofuels,” he explained. “We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, in our buildings, in our factories. That’s the only solution to the challenge.”
North Carolina, which Mr. Obama narrowly won in his 2008 bid for the presidency, is a key battleground state. It faces an unemployment rate of 10.4%, higher than the national average of 8.3%.
On a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning, senior members of President Obama’s reelection campaign announced that they will be releasing a 17-minute documentary next week focusing on the successes of the president’s first term in office. The short film is directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Davis Guggenheim, whose relationship with Obama goes all the way back to 2008 when he directed a documentary on the president for the Democratic National Convention.
Wednesday’s conference call came just one day after Super Tuesday, when the four remaining GOP presidential candidates faced off in ten primaries and caucuses across the country. With those contests fresh in their minds, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and senior strategist David Axelrod used the call to offer their interpretation of Tuesday night’s results.
The call focused almost entirely on the demographic weaknesses of frontrunner Mitt Romney. In his opening remarks, Messina pointed to low turnout in many states on Tuesday and exit poll data showing weaknesses among independents to argue that Romney is hurting his prospects for the general election.
“What we saw last night is overall republican primary turnout down 8.8% in the Super Tuesday states,” Messina said, listing off 6 states where turnout was down compared to 2008. “Independents have bailed on Romney just in time for the general election. Romney's gone so far right that it's cost him the independents' support. Only in his home state of Massachusetts did he win independents. He lost independents in every single other state." FULL POST
The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:
*Romney wins Ohio, five other states, but no knockout punch (Washpost)
*Five arrested in high-profile cyberattacks (CNN)
* Rush Limbaugh: Who's afraid of him? (Politico)
*More investors sign up for Greek debt swap (BBC)
*Obama cuts refinance costs for some mortgages (CNNMoney)
President Obama travels to the critical swing state of North Carolina to deliver remarks on the economy at a Daimler truck manufacturing plant in Charlotte. To illustrate the importance of North Carolina, Wednesday marks the third time in two weeks the Obama camp has focused here. First Lady Michelle Obama visited the state last week and Vice President Biden the week before. The state is also the site of the Democratic Convention in September.
full schedule after the jump