The president toured a GM plant in Fairfax, Kan., and a Ford plant in Claycomo, Mo. At the Ford plant, he also spoke for about 15 minutes to a group of auto workers.
Bush said that energy independence and reducing demand for oil and gasoline is both a national security issue and an environmental issue.
"I know that when you're dependent on oil, and the objective of some of the terrorists is to destroy oil networks, it creates a national security problem for us," Bush said.
While he was hundreds of miles away, Bush was unable to completely escape his troubles in Washington. A handful of protestors waited outside the Ford plant.
Inside, a reporter asked presidential adviser Karl Rove if former Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., might replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the Kansas City Star reported. Rove replied by suggesting that the reporter return to the media area and do his job.