WARREN, Ohio (TDB) -- Hillary's knock on the Republicans: "They think America doesn't need to make anything anymore." She campaigned at the giant GM auto complex in Trumbull County today and ripped the Bush Administration over the loss of 3 million U.S. factory jobs. Ohio's share of the toll: Nearly 200,000. She said the GOP's likely nominee John McCain favors trade policies that will continue shipping American manufacturing jobs overseas to cheap labor nations.
"Let's be honest about something. When President Bush and Vice President Cheney say the economy is booming even though 3 million manufacturing jobs have been lost; when they promise to cut the Manufacturing Extension Partnership; when they cut assistance to small manufacturers; when Sen. McCain tells you business as usual on trade is just fine and tells neighboring Michigan workers that we can't bring new manufacturing jobs back to the United States -- they are sending you a clear message: They do not believe America needs a strong manufacturing base.
"They think America doesn't need to make anything anymore. They think those of us who remember how our manufacturers helped defend our freedoms in the great wars are just quaint and nostalgic. They think it would be just fine if every plane, every piece of machinery, every computer, every car were made somewhere else.
"Well let me be clear: I believe manufacturing matters. I believe we should be restoring the Manufacturing Extension Partnership -- not cutting it. I believe a strong America needs a strong manufacturing base -- and I intend to fight for one as president. Some may call this the 'rust belt' but that's not what I see. I see some of the hardest workers in the world. I see great universities and strong communites. I see a 21st century manufacturing belt. An innovation belt. An opportunity belt."
The complete text of her prepared remarks at the NE Ohio manufacturing complex is available here. Trade policy, globalization, NAFTA reform and the disappearance of Ohio's factories promise to to be recurring themes of both Obama and Clinton from now to March 4. Later today she's speaking about the foreclosure crisis. In Ohio, it's the economy, stupid.