President Barack Obama addresses guests at Concord Community High School in Elkhart, Indiana, on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Obama returned to Elkhart, the first city he visited as President in 2009, to highlight the nation's economic recovery. Elkhart County's unemployment rate peaked at 18.9 percent in March 2009 and is now down to 4.1 percent. Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/UPI | License Photo
ELKHART, Ind., June 1 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama flexed some economic muscle in Indiana Wednesday in a speech that, at times, sounded like a fiery campaign speech that criticized the GOP.
The president visited the industrial town of Elkhart to made the speech. Obama cited numerous factors in the economy's growth and said the government needs to continue in its current direction if it wants to build on that improvement.
"One of the reasons we're told this has been an unusual election year is because people are anxious and uncertain about the economy," Obama said. "America's economy is not just better than it was eight years ago -- it is the strongest, most durable economy in the world."
"But we know a lot of people are still feeling stressed about their economic future. The pundits, they say one of the reasons the Republican Party has picked [Trump] ... is because nobody has paid enough attention to the plight of working Americans in communities like these," he continued. "Their basic story is: America's working class, America's middle class -- families like yours -- have been victimized by a big, bloated federal government run by a bunch of left-wing elitists like me. And the government is taking your hard-earned tax dollars and it's giving them to freeloaders and welfare cheats. And we're strangling business with endless regulations. And this federal government is letting immigrants and foreigners steal whatever jobs Obamacare hasn't killed yet."
Obama expressed concern about the number of Americans siding with the GOP and indicated that a Republican victory in November could spell disaster for the United States economy.
"If we get cynical and just vote our fears, or if we don't vote at all, we won't build on the progress that we started," he said.
Obama cited several accomplishments of his administration over the last seven years, including reform to close tax loopholes, Wall Street practices and the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"If what you care about in this election is your pocketbook, if what you're concerned about is who will look out for the interests of working people and grow the middle class, if that's what you're concerned about, then the debate is not even close," he said. "The evidence of the last 30 years, not to mention common sense, should tell you that [Republicans'] answers to our challenges are no answers at all."