REDFORD (WWJ) – President Barack Obama is in metro Detroit on Monday to talk to workers at Daimler Detroit Diesel as part of his strategy to generate public support for his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff: the tax hikes and spending cuts due to kick in at the end of the year.
Upon his arrival, the President was greeted on the tarmac by Gov. Rick Snyder, Sen. Carl Levin, Rep. John Dingell and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.
Obama could be heard saying, “”It’s a little cold out here,” as he, alongside Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, greet a few dozen people who were gathered at the airport.
While the president’s visit Monday comes on the eve of the final right to work vote in Lansing, that issue may only get a passing mention in a speech mostly focused on taxes.
“He does not want competing issues or other static in the environment to take away from what he wants on taxes, and he’s got three weeks left to make his case,” said Eastern Michigan University Professor Ed Sidlow.
While Obama didn’t need to visit Michigan during the presidential campaign, Sidlow said this visit could help him in his new campaign for his tax plan. Central to negotiations between the president and Republicans is whether to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans.
Support from auto workers helped Obama win Michigan and Ohio, two competitive states that were key to his re-election last month. Since the election, Mr. Obama has also returned to Pennsylvania to promote his solution for the fiscal cliff.
President Obama will be led on a tour of the Heavy Duty Engines Line by Plant Manager and Vice President of Operations Jeff Allen and UAW NW Local 163 Detroit Diesel Engine Unit Shop Chairperson Mark “Gibby” Gibson.
During the tour the President will see several steps in the engine production process including the Piston Stuffing Area, the Head Subassembly & Install and the Turbo Install. The President will speak to an audience composed primarily of Detroit Diesel Corporation workers.
WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert will be covering the president’s visit. Listen to WWJ Newsradio 950 and check back with CBS Detroit.com for complete coverage.