(AUSTIN, Texas) — Speaking before a group of high school students and teachers at Manor New Tech High School near Austin, Texas, on Thursday, President Obama said that the innovation and persistence of the American people has fostered an economy that is “poised for progress.”
“A lot of sectors of our economy are doing better. The American auto industry is thriving, American energy is booming, American ingenuity in our tech sector continues to be the best in the world, and has the potential to change almost everything that we do, and thanks to the grit and determination of the American people we’ve cleared the way, the rubble of the worst economic crisis in our lifetime, so we’re poised for progress,” Obama said.
The president’s comments came at his first stop in Austin, where he is on his inaugural visit of the “Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tours,” a series the president is beginning as he looks outside of Washington, D.C., for models of job creation and innovation.
“This is the first stop that I’m making on a tour of the Austin area today and I chose Austin partly because I just love Austin, but also because there’s some terrific things going on in this area in communities like Manor,” the president said. “Folks around here are doing something right, and I think the rest of the country can learn from what you’re doing because I’ve always believed that the best ideas usually don’t start in Washington, they trickle up to Washington.”
Earlier in the day, the White House announced two executive orders aimed to bolster the manufacturing sector in this country. The first executive order launched competitions for three Manufacturing Innovation Institutes and pushed Congress to dedicate $1 billion to the creation of 15 such centers. The second executive order requires new government data be made available in “open, machine-readable formats” to help technology entrepreneurs and researchers.
Upon his arrival in Texas, President Obama was greeted on the tarmac by Texas Governor Rick Perry, who said conservative “red states” like Texas have shown they are better capable of creating jobs and strengthening the economy.
“If you’re interested in creating jobs, if you’re interested in creating an environment where people are freer, that these red states are the ones that are doing a better job of that,” Perry said, according to audio provided by the governor’s office to ABC News. “He came here because we are a success story and whether you’re playing for the red team or whether you’re playing for the blue team, you like to hang out with a winner and Texas is a winner.”
Prior to his speech at the high school near Austin, President Obama met with students of the varsity and junior varsity robotics team at Manor New Tech High School.
“These look like some serious engineers here,” the president said as he walked into a classroom.
As he spoke with various students about their robotics projects, one group’s robot, which is capable of shooting Frisbees, had a technical glitch and wouldn’t work at first for the president. When the group’s robot finally started functioning, the president told the group their robot, with the word “YOLOTRON” emblazoned across its side, was “fantastic” and awarded the students with a fist bump after hearing they took the project to the “world championships.”
And no trip to Texas would be complete without a stop for barbeque. After his speech, the president sat down for lunch with four local Austin residents at Stubb’s BBQ, a popular restaurant in downtown Austin, to discuss jobs and the economy.
The president will continue his tour through Austin when he speaks at Applied Materials, Inc., a high-tech company in Austin.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
David Goldman, CNN
Tal Kopan and Evan Perez, CNN
Tal Kopan and Jeremy Diamond, CNN