President Barack Obama has begun his campaign for the initiatives he laid out in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday. The president started the campaign on Wednesday in a factory in the North Central state of Wisconsin.
President Obama says America can win the future in places like Orion Energy Systems, a solar energy equipment plant in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
“We need to get behind clean energy companies like Orion,” said President Obama. “We need to get behind innovation. That is how we will meet the goal I set last night and make sure 80 percent of America’s electricity comes from clean energy sources by 2035. That is a goal that we can meet. That is a goal we must meet.”
“Winning the future” was the theme of Mr. Obama’s yearly address to Congress on Tuesday. He proposed doing so by boosting government spending on education, infrastructure, technology and alternative sources of energy.
Related video report by Carolyn Presutti
The president said the increased public spending could be paid for by reducing tax breaks for oil companies.
Opposition Republicans have criticized Mr. Obama’s proposals as excessive spending and excessive government involvement in private enterprise.
Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said in Tuesday’s Republican response that cutting government spending is an imperative.
“No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation,” said Ryan. “The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country.”
In Wisconsin on Wednesday, Mr. Obama repeated his warning that other governments are supporting industries that build clean-energy equipment.
“China is making these investments,” said Obama. “They have already captured a big chunk of the solar market, partly because we fell down on the job. We were not moving as fast as we should have. Those are jobs that could be created right here, that are getting shipped overseas.”
Vice President Joe Biden was spreading a similar message in Indiana, at a plant where batteries for electric automobiles are made. President Obama called for putting one million alternative fuel vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015.
Wisconsin is expected to be an important state in the president’s 2012 reelection campaign, which is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
Mr. Obama won Wisconsin in 2008, but Republicans won the state governorship and one U.S. Senate seat from Democrats in last November’s midterm elections.