Following Wednesday’s hour-long speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, President Obama continued his speech tour on the economy at the Port Authority of Jacksonville, Florida (JAXPORT) on Thursday.
Obama reiterated many of points from his Wednesday speech to the crowd in Florida, and continued to vow to set Washington politics aside and work to revive the economy and the American middle class. “Making sure we have world-class infrastructure shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” the president said. “That’s an American issue.”
In his 26-minute speech, the president pledged to continue investing in industries that will grow the economy — improving education and making student loans affordable, advancing scientific research to develop natural gas as well as wind and solar initiatives, and making health care accessible and affordable for all Americans.
The president also repeated his criticism of highly partisan Washington politics, and sent a message to Republicans looking to obstruct any initiative that has Democratic support. “You know, repealing Obamacare and slashing our budgets in education and research and infrastructure, that’s not an economic plan,” he said. “Shutting down the government just because I’m for keeping it open–that’s not an economic plan. Threatening that you won’t pay the bills in this country when we’ve already racked up those bills, that’s not an economic plan, that’s just being a deadbeat.”
Obama also promised to go above Congress if necessary to make progress. “Where I can act on my own, I will act on my own, I won’t wait for Congress,” he said. In some cases, he already has — for example, in 2010 he signed an executive order that helped bring new business to JAXPORT.
The president will continue his tour in Chattanooga, Tennessee next Tuesday, where the White House says “Obama will discuss ideas he’s presented previously to promote American competitiveness and job growth – and also some new ideas.”