February 9th, 2009
09:52 AM ET
13 years ago

President Obama no stranger to Elkhart

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/09/art.boelkhart0209.gi.jpg caption="Then-Sen. Obama spoke with Sam and Dannielle Ericson while canvassing for votes in Elkhart, Indiana last May. Obama will return to the town as president on Monday."]
(CNN) - President Barack Obama's no stranger to Elkhart, Indiana, where he's holding a town hall meeting today to promote his plan to stimulate the economy.

Obama made a short stop in the northern Indiana city in early May, when he was battling Hillary Clinton for his party's presidential nomination. Clinton narrowly edged Obama in the primary, but she ended up dropping out of the race for the White House a month later.

Obama returned to Elkhart and held a rally in the northern Indiana city in early August, when he was fighting Republican Sen. John McCain for the presidency. Obama edged out McCain by 1 percentage point in the general election, becoming the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state since 1964.

Elkhart's unemployment rate topped 15 percent in December, about triple what it was a year ago. The city's jobless rate is about double the national average - a number of the nation's top recreational vehicle makers are located in Elkhart, and hundreds of workers at those plants have lost their jobs.


Filed under: Indiana • President Obama
soundoff (273 Responses)
  1. Mark

    I hope thye call him out on this pathetic stimulus package. Oh! and the lies from his campaign.

    February 9, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. Tyrell A

    Andy J, where did you get that statistic? You completely made it up, and the part about the mortgages. Please tell us how we have spent 10 trillion dollars when everyone is freaking out about 0.8 trillion

    February 9, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Ester

    Why so much confusion or distress on the topic of stimulus packaging? The urgency has not subsided, as seen in the media and well over America, with many more Americans out of work. Now, we have people we elected holding on to old conventions and questioning ethics and our leadership we have newly elected.
    No, one is talking about the bail out for the Banking system that seemed to burn money and we are still facing doom?

    One thing I have learned from this whole mess is that trust is something we have to put in God and not in mere men or money, but to allow those we have trusted to be tested.

    For myself it is easy, we gave the money to the banking system and looked away, but when it came to we the people our Government says "you just are not as important as our money". But, we want you to go deeper into debt so you can pay for it! We do need Change! People we are the change and change has come, but we sit sitll and endure all the old way of thinking, and call the new foolish. But, I believe the foolish things of the world cause those who seem to be wise, fools!

    MAY God take this prayer of repentence for our government in failing his people and this great land of ours. God Bless AMERICA!

    February 9, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. arnolde

    In the Republican dictionary, bipartisanship means the GOP gets everything it wants – like a stimulus package of 100% tax cuts. If that's the kind of stimulus you want, you should have won the elections – but hey, the majority of Americans rejected your policies

    February 9, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. mike-MO

    It funny how the Republican’s are against the bill to simulate when they was for the bailout months ago. Forget them and move ahead – America need to be stimulated to get goods and services moving again. You tried President but the fools don’t get it. Tax cuts are not the answer to simulate the economy. The top economist has agreed as well – TAX CUTS are for the rich. We need help now!

    February 9, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. PC

    So much BS coming from the Dems and their president with their slogan that "this is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."

    What we're in is a cyclical recession caused by global events. According to the The National Bureau of Economic Research, there have been 21 recessions since 1904. The average duration was just over 14 months. The all reversed themselves.

    As far as unemployment rates, they've been much higher in the RECENT past - up to 10.8% in 1982 nationally. As a matter of fact, throughout the George W. Bush presidency, employment rates were among the lowest since 1960 - approx. at 5% on average.

    Of couse it's bad right now - and it's certainly hyped up by the "sob stories" promoted by the media and Liberals - who want to push a NEW SOCIAL AGENDA in order to keep their hands in our pockets for years to come!

    February 9, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Chris E

    From the Washington Post:

    "While economists remain divided on the role of government generally, an overwhelming number from both parties are saying that a government stimulus package - even a flawed one - is urgently needed to help prevent a steeper slide in the economy. "

    Amen.......

    February 9, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Terry from GA

    It's very interesting to read all of the negative comments but why didn't we see this outcry when president bush was putting us in this financial hole? You can't blame our current president for the financial mess he inherited. How quickly people forget. I also believe this country is now divided into two categories; 1) the ones who are employed and 2) the ones who are unemployed. For those who are complaining about the stimulus package, i bet your attitude would change if you were unemployed.

    February 9, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Sniffit

    @ The Obama Who Cried Wolf

    Oh yeah? Let's see how many times the GOP can say "tax cuts" before there's none of them left in Congress.

    February 9, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  10. Pat F

    Another stunt. Stay home, Barry.

    February 9, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  11. Libertarian

    It's funny how Bush was able to push through the TARP package, giving billions to banks without accountability, and the Republicans cheered. Now it's a bad idea to help the American people? Republicans are blocking it? One of them thinks it's a good idea to give the money to people unable to pay their mortgages? (welfare?) What about me? I took a sensible mortgage that was within my budget and I'm paying it. Do I get help from the Republican plan?

    February 9, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Tracy M.

    Jackie, please check your facts. Many, many more Democrats have served their country honorably than Republicans. Have you ever heard of John Murtha? John Kerry? Please do a simple Google search before you shoot off your mouth.

    February 9, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  13. Han

    Obama show is on the road today. It looks like stimulus bill is stimulating the new President and nobody else.

    February 9, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Matt

    And to jackie! Many Democratic senators and congressmen served, Senator Jim Webb for example as well as senator reed from RI (means Rhode Island)....to say that john McCain deserved the presidency cause he served is outlandish! America wanted Barack Obama not more of the same McCain. Stop with the crazy please!

    February 9, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  15. Marc

    Jackie and Don't Blame Me – Where have you been the past 3 weeks? The President DID tried to reach across the aisle, to let the Republicans be heard and their opinions be apraised, but what were those opinions? 'Obstruction at all costs!', 'Tax Cuts!' and 'Your plan won't help the economy!'... Three mantras that were repeated over and over again.
    Oh and 'Don't blame me'... you talk like that to your friends?

    February 9, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. obama-mama

    Jackie puhleeze. McCain is a complete joke and a fake. It was nice that he served his country and I commend him for that but I still think he's a snake.

    February 9, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Libertarian

    Hrm....so McCain is still thinking the "fundamentals of our economy are sound". LOL!!!

    February 9, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Willa

    Naysayers should take their whining elsewhere. After eight years of gross incompetence in the White House, it will take a miracle to fix the mess we're in. Everyone needs to own up that the Republican Bush administration's (failed) policies got us where we are. The magnitude of the economic problem that President Obama has inherited is unprecedented. Republicans least of all should be the ones giving advice. They should stop obstructing progress and be part of the solution. We are faced with uncharted waters and no one has all the answers. President Obama's job is difficult enough without having to fight his way through an obstacle course of disgruntled Republican negativity. The road ahead is a difficult one and regardless of political affiliation, we all need to support him if we expect to prevail. .

    February 9, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. TCM

    Obama will try anything to make sure we all think, "The sky is falling!" If he really cared about this country, and not his own personal agenda, he'd work with the republican's more instead of blabbing about it, get rid of Pelosi and Reid and the other poison pills....there's no transparency here...just a lot of smoke and mirrors.
    Going to a high unemployment area to pitch a giant welfare package (because it surely isn't a job stimulus) isn't what this country needs. The dems only want to replenish the funds that accommodate the low income people, and slackers, that are their voter base....in essence, Obama's trying to buy votes for the next election

    February 9, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Sheri

    Some people are so ignorant and bitter on here. Rebpulicans!
    LOST THE RACE --------MOVE ON

    February 9, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. Lush Limprick is the Real RNC Chairman!

    The repubs saying he should not be talking to the average American, just goes to show how out of touch they really are.

    During these times it is good to be told the truth and straight on, no filtering from the media. We have seen how that works, repubs are fighting over less than 2 per cent, but listening to CNN and Fox you wold think it was 90%.

    P.S. For the record, I think it is already too late, we are going down the tubes and nothing will safe us, but for the sake of America, I pray I am wrong. No one will buy anything as long as the avalanche of losing jobs keeps coming and of course, the more that lose the fewer will spend and we are already in a downward spiral. This plan will SAVE jobs but not sure it will create jobs, due to the fact there is way to much capacity in America. We make nada.

    February 9, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. suprselr

    Many of those who posted comments yesteday regarding the Republican' warnings are still tuck in the euphoria of Obama's election. He has back peddled on almost every issue he addressed during his campaign and after he had won the election. If any of you had studied the bill in depth, you would see that there are billions in spending initiatives that will NOT create jobs and get the economy back on track. Many of the programs the Democrats have included in the bill are worthy causes in a HEALTHY economy; but with our country in the worst financial crisis since the depression, we cannot afford the extravagant funding the Democrats have requested. Any stimulus package at this time should ONLY address protecting and creating jobs and preventing citizens from losing their homes.
    As the bill stands now, it is more of a "stick it to us" package rather than a "stimulus" package. Obama is clearly in over his head and if ANYONE is using fear as a tool, it his Obama....

    February 9, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Common sense is not very common

    @Obama the marketing machine February 9th, 2009 10:21 am ET

    Things that make sense do not need to be sold.

    ***********************************************************************

    Unfortunately, things that make sense needs to be sold. Because not all people have sense.

    February 9, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Let's see if he can answer real questions from real citizens without a teleprompter.

    February 9, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Sniffit

    @ Jackie

    So being a POW gives McCain the economic expertise necessary to determine that most of th ecountry's economic experts are completely off base, that tax cuts and trickle down economics work despite the past few decades of evidence to the contrary and that we don't need a stimulus package to help keep our economy afloat? Love your reasoning....errr, I mean nonsense.

    February 9, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
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