WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says business innovation is a building block to more jobs, pitching a retooled economic message that aims to highlight advances in the private sector over government programs.
With a Wisconsin energy company as a backdrop, Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to prod the business community to help speed up an economic recovery that is still beset by high unemployment.
"That's how America will win the future — by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building our competitors," he said.
Obama taped the message Wednesday at Orion Energy Systems, a Manitowoc, Wis., company specializing in solar power and energy-efficient technologies.
This week, the president will continue his role as a booster of American innovation. He plans to discuss innovation with technology business leaders on Tuesday and has scheduled a visit Wednesday to Pennsylvania State University, which is involved in an Energy Department program on energy-efficient buildings.
"This is going to help spark innovation at businesses across America," he said. "This is going to spur new products and technologies. This is going to lead to good, new jobs."
Obama, who also called for a freeze in spending in his State of the Union address Tuesday, returned to the theme in his address. "We have to reform our government and cut wasteful spending, so that we eliminate what we don't need to pay for the investments we need to grow, like education and medical research," he said Saturday.
In the GOP's weekly address, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said that to fix an ailing economy, the United States must address the "ever expanding" size and cost of governing the country.
"I hope the president and his allies in Congress accept a simple truth: Big government is blocking job creation, not helping it. The sooner Washington ends its dependence on more spending, the sooner our economy will see real growth," he said.