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Obama Economic Plan Focuses on Working Class

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Obama Economic Plan Focuses on Working Class

Election 2008

Obama Economic Plan Focuses on Working Class

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Voters in Wisconsin go to the polls next Tuesday. Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama stopped by one of the state's automotive assembly plants yesterday to lay out his economic proposals.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY: Obama used the GM assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin as a symbol of the kind of economy he wants to promote. For almost 100 years, he said, the plant has produced not just profits for GM, but prosperity for the wider community.

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois; Presidential Candidate): The promise of Janesville has been the promise of America, that our prosperity can and must be the tide that lifts every boat. That we rise and fall as one nation.

HORSLEY: Speaking to a group of blue-collar workers, Obama consciously veered from his inspirational stump speech and tried to anchor lofty ideals with very specific policy proposals. He recapped a long list of nuts and bolts measures designed to help working families, including tax cuts, affordable health care, and automatic retirement savings.

Obama also called for investing $60 billion over the next 10 years in an infrastructure bank. He says that would create nearly two million construction jobs - fixing bridges, highways and schools.

Senator OBAMA: And we will fund this bank by ending this war in Iraq.

HORSLEY: Obama criticized Hillary Clinton, John McCain and President Bush during his speech. Clinton fired back, saying Obama's infrastructure proposal and a separate plan to encourage alternative energy jobs are both ideas she raised months ago.

Clinton said during a news conference that American need, quote, "Real results, not more rhetoric."

Scott Horsley, NPR News.

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