I want to commend the President for choosing Cleveland as the setting for today’s event. I, as well as Senator Brown, Representative Fudge, and many of our constituents, were pleased that the President came here to announce the expansion of two major initiatives in manufacturing innovation. This is a region that was built on a strong tradition of manufacturing, and there could be no more fitting place to lay the groundwork for the next renaissance in American manufacturing that will rebuild America’s middle class.
There are other hurdles we must also address as we work to build a strong middle class. One of the audience members today highlighted this point when he asked the President about Citizens United, campaign spending and the relationship between money and influence in the American political system. President Obama spoke at length about the problems this creates for our nation’s political agenda, diverting attention away from policies, such as infrastructure and trade reform, that could greatly benefit middle class families. Instead, these issues are distorted and blocked, left to rot on the vine. The President said this is bad for American democracy and the American economy. I could not agree more. We have to do a better job of reigning in the influence these groups wield and restore our focus on serving working families as the guiding principle for our elections and our representative government.
Again, thank you to the President for highlighting Cleveland and Northern Ohio as a vital region in the rebirth of American manufacturing, and for taking time to respond to questions and concerns shared by people throughout this region. I look forward to continuing the conversations we started here over the coming months as we continue to fight for the future of American manufacturing and America’s middle class.”