President Obama speaks at Master Lock in Milwaukee
WTMJ News Team & The Associated Press
Check back throughout Wednesday for more Newsradio 620 WTMJ and TODAY'S TMJ4 team updates on President Barack Obama's visit to Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE- President Barack Obama is using the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing to make an economic case for his re-election, touring factory floors and promoting a made-in-America message that seemed to fit his political campaign like, as it turned out Wednesday, lock and key.
Most presidents like to surround themselves with proud workers at factories, but Obama has gone further by making the rebounding manufacturing a key plank of his election-year agenda, arguing that the increasingly service-oriented U.S. economy needs to make things in order to prosper in the long run. He opened a three-day political trip with a stop in Wisconsin, a state he won handily in 2008 but is expected to pose more difficulty for him this year.
Obama called for tax cuts for American manufacturers and higher taxes for companies that move overseas, pressing what he hopes will be a winning campaign issue. He also acknowledged that many factories have closed, their jobs have gone overseas and a lot of them "are not going to come back."
"In a global economy, some companies will always find it more profitable to pick up and do business in other part of the world. That's just a fact," Obama said at the Master Lock plant in Milwaukee. "But that doesn't mean we have to sit by and settle for a lesser future."
Departing Milwaukee, Obama was to attend two fundraisers in Los Angeles. The first was an outdoor fundraising reception at the home of soap opera producer Bradley Bell and his wife, Colleen. The campaign expects 1,000 supporters to attend, with tickets starting at $250.
Air Force One departs for California as President Obama plans to attend fundraisers in California.
President Obama arrives at Mitchell International and boards Air Force One. The aircraft will soon taxi onto the runway.
Governor Walker did not attend the Master Lock event, but about 100 protesters still showed up, chanting for his removal from office in a recall election.
President Obama ends his speech with: "We're going to create more success stories like Master Lock and remind the world why the U.S. is the greatest nation on earth."
President Obama: "Master Lock has been making the most of a huge opportunity that exists right now to bring jobs and manufacturing back to America."
President Obama: "Over the last few years, it’s become more expensive to do business in countries like China. Meanwhile, American workers have become even more productive."
President takes the stage.
Pool reporters tell us that Mr. Obama walked through the factory for 10 minutes, chatting with workers and posing for photos. He was chewing gum, wearing protective glasses, without a coat, wearing rolled-up shirt sleeves.
Check out our updated photo gallery, with lots of photos from Nick Montes of TODAY'S TMJ4 of President Obama's arrival on Air Force One, along with Occupy protesters outside Master Lock.
The head of Master Lock gives a speech at the podium, spending much of his time addressing his employees and discussing the successes they've had bringing jobs back to their Milwaukee plant.
The Presidential motorcade has arrived at Master Lock.
A Master Lock employee leads the crowd assembled in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Tom Murray reports that Mr. Obama will tour the plant and visit with employees before his speech.
will mention Collaborative Consulting in Wausau and Diamond Precision Products in Johnson Creek.
I-43/94 northbound has been closed in both directions, at least to the Marquette Interchange, for the Presidential motorcade.
President Obama takes time to shake hands with people gathered on the tarmac at the Air National Guard station near Mitchell International.
President Obama is on the ground, and Gov. Scott Walker and Mayor Tom Barrett await with Brewers jersey in hand.
Nick Montes of TODAY'S TMJ4 reports that Milwaukee Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore was on Air Force One with President Obama.
Tom Murray of TODAY'S TMJ4 says former governor Jim Doyle has arrived at Master Lock, along with Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Common Council President Willie Hines and MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton.
Air Force One lands at Mitchell International Airport.
Nick Montes of TODAY'S TMJ4 tells us President Obama and Air Force One are five minutes away.
TODAY'S TMJ4 photojournalists outside Master Lock have found Occupy protesters ready to greet
Our Nick Montes tells us that Air Force one is on schedule for an 11:35 a.m. landing. We'll have live video of it, Mr. Obama's speech and his departure.
Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Nick Iannelli says that factory workers have begun gathering inside Master Lock, waiting for the President to arrive.
The Presidential podium is set up with the U.S. and Wisconsin flags nearby.
Iannelli reports that an Obama campaign flag with "An America Built To Last" is off to the side at the display.
Piano music is playing in the background while people wait inside the factory.
Even before the President speaks in Milwaukee (about 12:40 p.m. start time), politicians running for political office are chiming in on his talk.
One of them includes Republican Mark Neumann, who is running for the United States Senate seat Democrat Herb Kohl is vacating.
“The Obama-Baldwin budget is another catastrophic step towards turning America into Greece. Instead of coming up with a plan to actually cut spending, they’ve proposed adding to our national debt and the President has come to Wisconsin for a photo op. Mr. President, we don’t need photo ops, we need a plan to cut spending and create private sector jobs.”
We have put together a photo gallery of some of the Presidents of the United States throwing first pitches, taking breaks and drinking beer during their visits to metropolitan Milwaukee.
According to a Journal Sentinel report, an ailing Gov. Scott Walker will meet up with President Obama at the Air National Guard station, but will not attend the President's speech.
Milwaukee has often hosted Presidents of the United States in its 166-year history.
The most infamous visit happened in 1912, when President Theodore Roosevelt had an attempt taken on his life before what is now called the "Bull Moose" speech.
Then-President Bill Clinton and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl came to the Brew City in 1996, and much fanfare came in the battle between restaurants to host the chief executives of both countries.
Despite hard campaigning by German restaurants in the city, the two dined at Miss Katie's Diner, just off the Marquette campus.
One visit involved the national pastime.
What memories do you have of commanders-in-chief visiting Milwaukee?
As President Barack Obama speaks in Milwaukee at a company that is adding jobs, a Republican senator from the state claims that those jobs are coming despite the President's policies.
"With President Obama going to Milwaukee and visiting Master Lock, it does remind me a little bit of the rooster crediting the sun rise," said Senator Ron Johnson to Newsradio 620 WTMJ.
The President's speech will involve the success story of Master Lock, a company that has "insourced" jobs back to the United State.
However, his speech comes in a state which has lost more private sector jobs than gained in each of the last six months.
Mr. Obama will land at 11:35 a.m. in Milwaukee, and it's expected that both Governor Scott Walker and Mayor Tom Barrett will join him.
But will Gov. Walker stay on the trip after reportedly falling ill? And will the Wisconsin contingent inundate the first Bears fan with Packers jerseys like his last visit?
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama was to visit the City of Milwaukee.
His itinerary included making a speech at Master Lock, a company he mentioned in his State of the Union address as an example of American companies bringing jobs back to America.
Master Lock is located near the corner of North 32nd and West Wright Street on Milwaukee's north side.
Air Force One was expected to arrive at the Air National Guard base near Mitchell International Airport at 11:35 a.m.