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Tuesday
Nov232010

Obama Hails Chrysler Factory 'Shining Example' of Auto Recovery 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(KOKOMO, Ind.) -- Describing the Chrysler factory as once “dark and empty,” President Obama on Tuesday trumpeted the success of the Kokomo, Indiana, factory, now at full capacity, hailing it a “shining example” of the auto industry’s recovery since the federal bailout.

“Even as we continue to face serious challenges, what's happening here at this plant, the changes we're seeing throughout Kokomo, are signs of hope and confidence in the future, in our future, together,” Obama said from the floor of the Chrysler factory Tuesday afternoon.

The Kokomo plant two years ago had plummeting production and had to lay off many of their workers. With the federal government’s bailout, the plant is back at full capacity and hiring workers. Kokomo's unemployment has gone from a staggering 20 percent in June of 2009 to 12 percent this fall.

“There were those who were prepared to give up on Kokomo and our auto industry,” the president said. “There were those who said it was going to be too difficult, or that it was bad politics, or it was throwing good money after bad. You remember the voices arguing for us to do nothing. They were pretty loud, suggesting we should just step back and watch an entire sector of our economy fall apart.”

The president heralded the Big Three automakers’ recovery as well, saying that for the first time in over a decade Americans are buying a larger share of Chrysler, Ford, and GM cars and a smaller share of their foreign counterparts.

Bringing up the bipartisan summit scheduled for next Tuesday from the White House, the president called for Democrats and Republicans to work together to better the economy, and work on tax cuts, in order to “make it easier, not harder, for middle-class families to get ahead.”

President Obama and Vice President Biden made three local stops in the Kokomo area. The pair visited an elementary school and the Gingerbread House Bakery and ate lunch with firefighters who had been laid off but got their jobs back due to a FEMA grant.

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