President Obama visited Moravia Park Elementary School, local manufacturer Ellicott Dredges and The Center for Urban Families in Baltimore Friday as part of his Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour.
Amid scandal, Obama focuses on jobs in Baltimore
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun
3:07 p.m. EDT, May 17, 2013
President Barack Obama told several hundred people gathered at a Baltimore manufacturing plant on Friday that he would keep his administration focused on the economic recovery — despite a series of political scandals that have rocked the administration in recent days.
Obama spoke at Ellicott Dredges in broad terms about lifting the middle class by investing in infrastructure. He pressed lawmakers on Capitol Hill to work together despite partisan gridlock that has stymied progress on economic initiatives proposed by either party, but he offered little in the way of new ideas to address unemployment.
The president spoke to about 800 people at Ellicott Dredges at an event that drew most of the state’s elected leaders, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and most of the state’s congressional delegation.
“This should be our principal focus – how are we making ourselves more competitive, how are we training our workers so they can do the jobs that to be done?” Obama said. “I’m going to keep trying to work with both parties in Washington to make progress. Because our challenges are solvable.
“There’s gonna be disagreements about how we get there,” he said. “But let’s remind ourselves that when we work together, nobody can stop us.”
But the trip was overshadowed by the string of developing stories that have put the White House on the defense for much of the week, especially revelations that the Internal Revenue Service heaped additional scrutiny on conservative groups. The ousted head of the IRS, Steven Miller, was grilled during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Republicans, meanwhile, criticized the trip as a campaign event.