Posted: Sep 20, 2013 10:08 PM by Eric Hilt, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Sep 20, 2013 11:44 PM
LIBERTY - President Barack Obama congratulated workers at the Ford stamping plant in Liberty Friday during a speech highlighting the economic recovery of the auto industry.
The speech acknowledged growth in the Ford plants in Liberty and Claycomo - just outside Kansas City. The plants added 1,600 jobs since 2011 and Obama says they will add 1,100 more in the near future. President Obama said the growth of the Ford plant is an example the entire nation should follow.
"Because Ford invested $1.1 billion in this plant, pretty soon, 1,100 more new workers will be joining you on these assembly lines in good, union jobs, building the Ford Transit," Obama said.
Obama also commended the resiliency of the middle class for getting through the financial crisis of the late 2000s. "The only thing built tougher than Ford trucks are American workers, the American people. That's what we've shown," Obama said.
Hundreds of people attended the speech, including Ford plant workers as well as members of the Democratic Party like Senator Claire McCaskill and Governor Jay Nixon.
Obama also took the opportunity to talk about his opponents in Washington D.C. and his fight to raise the debt ceiling. He claimed every president before him, from the likes of Ronald Reagan and Lyndon Johnson, have moved to raise the debt ceiling.
He also spoke about Friday's vote in the House of Representatives to cut off funding to the government if Obama doesn't repeal the 2010 health care reform bill.
"Unfortunately, there is a faction on the far right of the Republican Party right now -- it's not everybody, but it's a pretty big faction -- who convinced their leadership to threaten a government shutdown and potentially threaten to not raise the debt ceiling if they can't shut off the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare," Obama said.
Several workers at the plant said they appreciated the president's honesty and thought the speech was inspiring.
"I really enjoyed the speech and I think anybody affiliated with the auto industry owes him a big thank you," plant worker John Pierce said. "He's stood behind us from day one of his presidency."
The Missouri Republican Party issued several statements in response to Obama's speech. One of which read: "The President is very good at making speeches and pointing fingers at everyone but himself, he based in entire first term on it. The fact is speeches don't create jobs. Unfortunately that all we ever get from the President."
After the speech Obama returned to the White House.