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Obama Forecasts Brighter Days in Downtrodden Indiana

President Barack Obama on Wednesday traveled to recession-rocked Elkhart County, Ind., where he delivered a speech laced with messages of optimism for the region and the country — and sought to tie that message to his agenda.

In his remarks, Obama announced a new apportionment of stimulus money that would fund 48 new advanced battery and electric drive projects that will receive a total of $2.4 billion.

But the president also appeared to tailor his economic message to include a more hopeful view of the future, sounding again like the optimistic presidential candidate of 2008.

“This is a chance to restore that spirit of optimism and opportunity,— Obama said.

Obama forecast “a brighter future for Elkhart, and brighter future for Indiana, a brighter future for the United States,— adding, “That’s what we’re going to achieve in the weeks and months to come.—

With Republicans attempting to block key parts of Obama’s agenda, Democrats are seeking to cast themselves as the party of progress and the GOP as the party of “no.—

But Republicans say Obama’s economic prescriptions cannot be trusted.

“The administration is fanning out across the country desperate to try and sell the American people on its economic policies, most notably the bloated, ineffective trillion-dollar stimulus with some new economic rhetoric,— said Antonia Ferrier, spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). “This from the same people that claimed the stimulus would provide immediate’ relief, jolt’ the economy, and prevent the unemployment rate from going above 8 percent,— she added in a written statement. “Let’s be honest: their economic predictions and promises on job creation thus far have been all wrong.—

Obama also declared that a health care overhaul, his top domestic priority, will be approved.

“I promise you that we will pass health reform by the end of this year,— Obama said. “We’re going to have to make it happen.—

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