By David Jackson, USA Today
PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. -- President Obama hailed another positive
jobs report today, telling workers on a southern Virginia factory floor
that "the economy is getting stronger" and "better days are ahead."
"Our job now is to keep this economic engine churning," Obama said at a Rolls-Royce jet engine parts facility.
spoke hours after the Labor Department announced that the economy had
created 227,000 jobs in February. The unemployment rate remained at
All told, Obama said the economy has generated nearly 4
million jobs in the past two years, though "we're still recovering from
the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes."
a political note, Obama told the largely supportive crowd that "we
can't go back" to the (Republican) policies that created problems in the
first place. The president touted his programs to rebuild the auto
industry and create sources of energy.
The president discussed
plans to build a network of up to 15 "Institutes for Manufacturing
Innovation" around the country. The White House says these facilities
would serve as "regional hubs of manufacturing excellence that will help
to make our manufacturers more competitive and encourage investment in
the United States."
In 2008, Obama became the first Democrat to carry Virgina in a presidential election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
Prince George event did feature some bipartisanship. Virginia Gov. Bob
McDonnell, a potential running mate on the Republican ticket,
accompanied the president on a tour of the Rolls-Royce facility.
Republicans said they welcomed the job growth, but Obama policies may hold the economy back.
the economy is slowly adding new jobs, job growth must be stronger in
order for the millions of unemployed to get back to work," said House
Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.