(From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) -- President Barack Obama journeyed Wednesday to Ohio's economically hard hit Lorain County for the second time in two years to contrast his approach of "investing" in job training, health care and clean energy with what he said was the Republican plan for the economy: tax cuts for people who don't need them.
"This is not a redistribution argument: taking money from the rich to give to the poor. This is about us making investments in our country so everyone has a better shot, and that will make everyone better off," he said in a 21-minute speech at Lorain County Community College.
Republicans replied with criticism of federal overspending and disputed the success record of the Workforce Investment Act, the main topic for the president's visit. The stop was Mr. Obama's 20th to Ohio since his 2009 inauguration.
Ohio is a critical battleground state for this fall's presidential election, and Elyria is part of a hurting manufacturing belt from Cleveland to Toledo.
Mr. Obama is hoping that his approach, government retooling of the economy, resonates better with voters than the GOP call to reduce government's role and cut taxes for so-called "job creators." The Workforce Investment Act is meant to help displaced workers and nontraditional students train for "high-demand, high-growth industries."
"Investing in a community college, just like investing in a new road or a new highway or broadband [data transmission] lines that go into rural communities, these investments are not part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth," Mr. Obama told his Lorraine audience.
"They've been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations because they benefit all of us. That's what leads to strong, durable economic growth. That's how America became an economic superpower.