Obama warns voters in Elkhart to beware of politicians ‘preying’ on economic fears

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ELKHART, Ind. — President Barack Obama says people should beware of politicians who are “preying” on Americans’ anxieties about the economy in a bid to win headlines and votes.

Obama isn’t naming names. But he says some politicians are running on anti-trade, anti-immigrant policies in an effort to play to people’s fears.

Obama made the remarks during a visit to Elkhart, Indiana. He’s holding up the manufacturing community as a symbol of the nation’s climb from recession to recovery.

Obama says his administration’s “smart” decisions played a part in helping Elkhart come back. He says he wants to bust “myths” that Democratic policies are bad for the economy.

Indiana’s Republican governor, Mike Pence, says Elkhart had rebounded “in spite of Obama’s policies” and that those policies inflicted onerous federal burdens on Indiana.

To Obama, lingering challenges aren’t enough to forestall a planned victory lap. Arguing that his controversial $840 billion stimulus package was ultimately vindicated, Obama will call on the next president to be willing to spend big to enable further economic growth.

The president is making his eighth visit to the state since taking office in January 2009. Here are details on the visits:

  • Feb. 2, 2009: Travels to Elkhart for his first event outside the Washington area since taking office 13 days earlier and speaks about his economic stimulus plan at Concord High School as Elkhart County’s unemployment rate was about 15 percent.
  • May 17, 2009: Delivers commencement address at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, an appearance that drew weeks of criticism from many Catholic bishops and abortion opponents. Then travels to Indianapolis for two Democratic Party fundraisers.
  • Aug. 5, 2009: Visits Monaco RV factory in Wakarusa and announces $2.4 billion in grants for electric car production.
  • Nov. 23, 2010: Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both fly into Grissom Air Reserve Base then travel to a Chrysler transmission factory in Kokomo, where Obama promotes the U.S. auto industry revival.
  • May 6, 2011: Travels to an Allison Transmission factory in Indianapolis and speaks about how the hybrid transmissions made there can help reduce the country’s need for imported oil.
  • Oct. 3, 2014: Travels to Millennium Steel Services, a minority-owned steel processor near Princeton, and speaks about the nation’s manufacturing gains and the improving U.S. economy.
  • Feb. 6, 2015: Visits an Ivy Tech Community College campus in Indianapolis to tout his proposal for offering two years of college free.
  • June 1, 2016: Scheduled to speak about the economy at Concord Community High School in Elkhart and then take part in a PBS town hall at Elkhart’s Lerner Theatre.

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