(CNN)-President Barack Obama delivered the weekly address Saturday from a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, where he championed the "turnaround" of the auto industry.
"Today, each of the Big Three automakers-Chrysler, GM, and Ford-is turning a profit for the first time since 2004," he said. "Chrysler has repaid every dime and more of what it owes American taxpayers for their support during my presidency-and repaid that money six years ahead of schedule."
Obama confirmed that Chrysler would soon return to private ownership saying, "We reached a deal to sell our remaining stake."
The president continued to praise automakers for "adding shifts and creating jobs at the strongest rate since the 1990s" and reflected on the state of the industry at the beginning of his administration.
"When I took office we were facing the worst recession since the Great Depression-a recession that hit our auto industry particularly hard," he said.
Choosing then to go against "what a lot of folks in Washington thought we should do-nothing," the president said he also "decided to help [the American auto industry] retool for a new age."
That effort supported his oft-repeated pledge to make sure America can "out-build, out-innovate, and out-compete the rest of the world."
But in the GOP weekly address, second-term Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander countered Obama's praise of the American auto industry by promoting the success of foreign automakers who have built manufacturing plants in the United States.
"In 1980 Nissan chose Tennessee, a state with almost no auto jobs [as the location for their first U.S. manufacturing plant]. Today, auto assembly plants and suppliers provide one-third of Tennessee's manufacturing jobs," Alexander said.
And while Obama went on to acknowledge "bumps on the road to recovery" like rising gas prices, the earthquake in Japan and unease about Europe's economy, the president also encouraged a spirit of resiliency saying, "We're a people who don't give up - who do big things, who shape our own destiny."
"I'm absolutely confident that if we hold on to that spirit, our best days are still ahead of us."