Obama heads to hard-hit Michigan

President Obama will deliver a speech Tuesday in the swing state of Michigan, where he’ll continue to battle Republicans over whether his economic policies are working.

ADVERTISEMENT
Obama will focus his speech on his administration’s $12 billion plan to expand and improve the nation’s community college system as a means of creating jobs and sparking economic growth.

He’ll give the address in a state devastated by job losses in the auto sector. Michigan’s unemployment rate, 14.1 percent, is the highest of any state.

Obama will be greeted in Warren, Mich., by an op-ed in The Detroit News authored by House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerEXCLUSIVE: Pro-Hillary group takes 0K in banned donations Ryan: Benghazi report shows administration's failures Clinton can't escape Benghazi responsibility MORE (R-Ohio) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) blasting Obama's healthcare proposal.

Republicans have also attacked Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package for not creating jobs. Obama defended the stimulus over the weekend, saying it was designed as a two-year program and would spur more growth in the second half of the year. He also sought to regain momentum in the healthcare debate on Monday.

James Kvaal, special assistant to the president for economic policy, said on a conference call Monday night that Obama will expand on the portion of his joint address to Congress in February wherein “he set a goal for leading the world in the proportion of our citizens who have college degrees by the year 2020.”

“[On Tuesday] he'll be setting a new goal which will be 5 million additional community college graduates by 2020, and that’s a means of achieving the college completion goal,” Kvaal said.

Aides on the call said there are about 6 million community college enrollees currently, but they said about 40 to 50 percent of those who enroll with the goal of graduating or moving on to a four-year program don't make it to the end.

“So one of the things that he'll discuss tomorrow is a plan to see that more to fruition as it relates to our community colleges up in Michigan,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

Obama won Michigan by almost 17 percentage points over Republican rival Sen. John McCainJohn McCainWhich GOP pols will actually attend the convention? Trump bucks military on waterboarding Overnight Defense: Pentagon lifts transgender ban | Navy says Iran broke law by detaining sailors MORE (Ariz.) in 2008.