Obama tells Ohio gathering recovery plan working - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Obama tells Ohio gathering recovery plan working

CINCINNATI (AP) - President Barack Obama told thousands of cheering union members and activists gathered at Cincinnati's Coney Island park Monday that his economic recovery plan is working.

"We're on the road to recovery, Ohio, don't let anybody tell you otherwise," said Obama, who took the stage as the sky cleared following a morning that threatened rain. "But, my friends we still have a long way to go. We're not going to rest. We're not going to let up ... not until all Americans have their shot at the American dream."

Top AFL-CIO leaders and politicians were taking part in the Labor Day annual picnic, and organizers said union locals handed out some 10,000 tickets for access to the area where the president was to speak.

"Across America, we've saved the jobs of tens of thousands of state and local workers, including teachers and first responders right here in Ohio," Obama said. "Don't take my word for it ask folks right here in Ohio.

"We're rebuilding America's infrastructure, including improvements to I-75 in Hamilton County - led by a local Cincinnati contractor."

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Alex Triantafilou said in statement that Obama was visiting Cincinnati "during an interesting period."

"His approval rating is plummeting almost as quickly as his plans to nationalize our health care system," Triantafilou said. "It should be an interesting day."

Among those on hand to hear directly from Obama about efforts to overhaul health care was first-term U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus of Cincinnati. The Democrat said he wanted to be sure any changes will help small businesses and the economy, cover as many people as possible and protect those with pre-existing health conditions.

Driehaus said he will be flying back to Washington with the president and expects to get to talk with him about the issue.

"I think there are elements that we can come together on," Driehaus said. "It's a matter of really buckling down now and getting the job done."

Obama plans to address to a joint session of congress about health care on Wednesday. Obama supporter Dick Manoukian said he thinks the Wednesday speech will give the president a chance to take control of the health care debate.

"It's gotten out of hand," said the 68-year-old Cincinnati resident. But he expressed concern that Obama will might to a watered down plan to get passage. The president's scheduled early afternoon speech was moved inside to a music pavilion because of the weather forecast. Country music singer Kathy Mattea helped warm up the crowd before he arrived.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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