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. REF

    absolutely no to the pork filled stimulis bill it is not fair to our children lets be adults and take the medicine and by the end of summer we will see the end of this . obama dems and republicians should not be allowed to waste any more of our childrens money how can they lecture any one when the government is 12 trillion in debt. b/4 you bush haters say anything remember if you know anything about our govt the prez cant spend a dime without out approval of congress. so quit blaming bush etc its all there fault**************its easy to be generous with someone elses money ***without competition able to raise taxes anytime they still cant balance a budget get rid of them all.

    February 9, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  2. Sniffit

    @ Jackie

    Careful. There are other veterans in both the House and Senate. You'd do well to make sure you're right before spouting off at the mouth like that.

    February 9, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Jackie @ 11:12 a.m. – you trust McCain more than anyone else. You need help. McCain admitted he knew nothing about the economy twice.. His chief economist stated full agreement with the stimulus, in fact argued that it wasnt big enough. What did McCain do. Got himself another economist who said what he wanted to hear (not what was good for America) STILL TRUST HIM. If you do, you are an incurable Republican who doesnt know how to change and can only toe the party line.

    Yes McCain was a POW, he was also a tweety bird while there. Check your facts, Use the internet, read a book, get educated with the facts from all sides and make a good judgement. (Im sorry, got carried away, you cant do that, you are a Republican) enuff said.

    February 9, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Joan Buck

    The last two years and 1/2 yrs Democrats controlled the Congress; and whoever controls Congress that is where the money flows from Lobbyists and large BAnks, etc.
    Obama is no different than any other Politician, with the exception he has the Chicago Machine mentality which might bring about a fall.
    We shall see.
    Would bet they sit in their Office and laugh at how dumb the American people can be and how they can fool Americans – inexperience, naive, and loose attitude toward Terrorists was the last thing we needed in Office at this time.
    Remember it is Congress who makes the "spend the money" decisions.
    Joan B
    Minnesota

    February 9, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Soccer Nana

    To all concerned citizens,

    Please read the stimulus plan for yourselves; stop relying on someone else's "picked" tidbit for information that is contained within the plan.

    Read it line by line; it is only 647 pages (the first version), the so called revamped verson isn't much shorter; I ask that you please read it for yourself.

    Jobs will be created; this is an attempt to help our economy; we cannot simply sit back and wait while the plan is continuously revised to conform with people's personal agendas; our Country is at stake here.

    I hope this stimulus plan does not fail, because if it fails, that means our Country fails. We have to at least try.

    We have got to stop being so divisive; our enemies are watching, reading, and listening; a house divided is always weak and will succumb to its enemies.

    We must remain the United States of America.

    February 9, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Ian

    So the Republicans have taken deficit spending to absurd levels this past eight years. Fair enough. So how is this plan any different? No one is talking about any tax increases, so where is the money coming from to pay for this stimulus?

    February 9, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. American Voter

    I voted for representatives in government who would advocate what I want as a citizen. I did not vote for people to tell me that I should "trust them" and support their proposals regardless of whether what they says makes sense or not.

    I am not a child, and I am not an idiot. I can think for myself and I am deeply offended to be asked to just go along with the flow because the president says I should, or because he thinks my lack of participation or support isn't "bipartisan."

    Bipartisan doesn't mean laying aside logic to "get along." Bipartisan is joining together (in a wise and timely fashion) to come to a true compromise or to say, we must agree to disagree on the topic. That is "bipartisan."

    February 9, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. Kim

    Mr. President - it is clear that the Republicans want you to fail. They are not interested in bipartisanship. You tried. They refuse to cooperate. So do what you have to do, do what you know is right, and let them pound sand.

    I trust you, President Obama.

    February 9, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Al Phillips

    The vast majority of the people claiming that the stimulus won't work are the 45.7% percent of the people who voted for John McCain in the 2008 election. No matter what Obama or the democrates proposed they would disagree no matter what the circumstances. I listen to senators like Shelby from Alabama and McCain (I don't have a clue how to fix the economy) spout off how we are heading down the road to economic failure and I get physically ill. Please let the american people know what your plan of action is besides tax cuts. The problem with your logic is that we saw the results of this policy and we didn't like them.

    February 9, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Ian

    Can someone explain how borrowing over a trillion dollars with interest is going to solve this problem?

    February 9, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Larry from RI

    Just reading these posts by the right wing trolls who have brought this national disaster upon our Nation makes me want to puke!

    If you don't like the stimulus then do not accept any aid – if you receive a check, tax break, tax credit or pay increase simply send it back.

    If you don't want the stimulus then don't drive on any new roads, bridges or use public transportation.

    If you don't want the stimulus then keep your ailing spouse, parents, children or other loved ones at home instead of getting them the medical attention or medicines they need to survive.

    If you don't want the stimulus then don't apply for any jobs created by it

    If you don't want the stimulus then don't send your kids to our improved public schools, colleges or job training programs.

    If you don't want the stimulus then don't call the fire department when your house burns down.

    If you don't want the stimulus then don't call the police when you are robbed, beaten or your sister gets raped.

    If you don't want the stimulus then don't accept help from disaster relief programs when your community gets buried in coal ash, flooded, hit by drought, wildfires, earthquakes or other natural disasters.

    February 9, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    To Tennessee Libertarian...

    You go man! Love the comparison to Atlas...
    I'm being censored today by CNN, but you can not hide the truth of this pork bill.

    February 9, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Jerry

    Yes, use "stimulous" money to build more campers and suck up more gasoline. That should really make the economy rebound.

    February 9, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. a little sad

    @Jackie February 9th, 2009 11:12 am ET

    Open your eyes…O'bama is not trying to reach across the aisle and work with the Republicans. I was very disappointed in his partisan speech last week. It did not sound like he is working for all of us. And regarding the stimulus…I trust McCain's opinion and judgment over any of these democrat clowns. Remember, McCain sacrificed and bled for this country…more than I can say for anyone else in this Democrat controlled Congress.

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

    McCain's service was admirable, however, he is certainly not the only member of congress who served in the military.

    And loathe though I am to say this, sacrifice in and of itself demonstrates character but does not necesarily demonstrate knowledge.

    McCain's credibility the perception of his judgement was severly damaged in the campaign, not the least of which was caused by choice of both a running mate and a symbolic 'everyman' who could not wait to throw him under the bus.

    February 9, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  15. grew up in Elkhart

    Tell me this. What in the nearly trillion dollar spending spree that our new president and congress want to push through is going to help all the people that are out of work in Elkhart, IN? What is going to help the RV industry...you going to bail them out too? This area is so dependent on that industry, but apparently it's not "TOO BIG TO FAIL". Everyone know when the economy falters, people stop buying luxury items, which hits home to the RV industry. Most of these people graduate high school and see they can make more money in the industry than going to college, so that's what they do and all they do. What happens when the industry fails? Obama is trying to sell what, exactly????

    February 9, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. wiseguy

    I'm tired of all these politicians voting on stimulating their package!! Didn't they learn their lesson while Clinton was President?

    February 9, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Had It

    CNN

    Which Republicans voted FOR the bailout when it was Bush?

    Which Republicans voted AGAINST the bailout now that it is Obama?

    That might give us a starting point for our next elections. We have no one to keep us informed.

    Or, if you have no journalists, where can we find the information ourselves?

    Thanks

    February 9, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. BOJ Jr From Raleigh

    Go Obama!

    February 9, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. LISA

    Shut up Republicans! I'm sooooooooo sick of hearing and seeing you. You've done absolutely nothing these past 8 years. When is the next election. We need to get more Republicans out.

    February 9, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Angie in Pa

    Go President Obama! Get out there and let the People know the truth about the Republicans, how they didnt care when they were Dropping Billions of Dollars in Iraq, and how they dont care about The American people! REPUBLICANS ARE GONNA GO DOWN AND GO DOWN HARD! YAHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Scott the Independent

    This is not a threat but I'm just sayin – DO REPUBLICANS REALLY WANT PRESIDENT OBAMA CAMPAIGNING FOR YOUR DEMOCRATIC OPPONENT IN 2010.

    February 9, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  22. wasabe kid

    Jackie wrote: "...Remember, McCain sacrificed and bled for this country…more than I can say for anyone else in this Democrat controlled Congress."

    Actually, Jackie, 45 Democrats and 55 Republicans in the House of Representatives are veterans. That is less than 25% of the House. Republicans are definitely more likely to be Veterans, but neither party has anything close to a majority of Veterans currently serving.

    I myself am an Army vet who served a couple of years during the Viet Nam years. You forgot to mention which branch of the military you served in.

    February 9, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. JAMES-BROOKLYN, NY

    REPUBLICANS DON'T WANT OBAMA TO SUCCEED SO THEY COULD HAVE AN EXCUSE FOR 2012....WE HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH THEIR GREEDY MENTALITY SINCE 2000 NOW THEY WANT TO TELL US HOW WE SHOULD DEAL WITH THE ECONOMIC CRISIS, THAT THEY MESSED UP AT FIRST. WHEN BUSH WANTED TO SPEND THE U.S MONEY FOR HIS PERSONAL WAR ALL THOSE THUGS/GOONS WERE JUMPING LIKE CLOWNS BUT WHEN IT IS TIME TO HELP MAIN STREET, THEY ARE ALL WHINING AND ROLLING ON THE FLOOR TO SHOW THEIR ANGERS...WHAT A BUNCH OF OLD CONSTIPATED WAR EXTREMISTS. SO THEY WOULD RATHER SPEND MONEY ON A STUPID WAR THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH OUR SAFETY THAN HELPING US

    February 9, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. same ol' rotten republican ideas might work, NOT!!

    it's proven again that there are two ways to be republican:

    1) absolute idiot
    2) utterly conscience-less crook

    or wait, there's a third way.

    3) completely confused schitzo.

    February 9, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Rodmyr Plantin

    President Barack H. Obama speaking directly to the people in Indiana. A state suffering from the economic crisis severely. I understand the purpose and agree with the president strategy. Explanation, feedback and providing answers to the American people. I believe after this event, confidence in the stimulous bill will eventuate. Barack H. Obama will be the best president ever in America!!

    February 9, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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