Feb. 18 - President Barack Obama says those who had 'dire predictions' for the auto industry were proven wrong, a day after he marked the fifth anniversary of the controversial stimulus plan. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama will direct federal agencies on Tuesday (Feb 18) to develop higher standards for medium-sized and heavy trucks over the next two years. "Let me say this, the goal we are setting is ambitious. These are areas where ambition has worked out for us so far. Don't make small plans. Make big plans. And anybody who had dire predictions for the auto industry said, 'We couldn't do it. Manufacturers couldn't bring jobs back to America.' Every time they say that, they are proven wrong," Obama said. The announcement came a day after Obama marked the fifth anniversary of his controversial stimulus plan. By ordering federal agencies to develop new standards, Obama is able to act on his own and sidestep Congress, which remains divided about what to do about a warming planet. "Anybody who says we can't compete when it comes to clean energy technologies like solar and wind, they have had to eat those words. You can't bet against American workers or American industry. You can't bet against America because you are going to lose money every time because we know how to do this when we set broad ambitious, goals for ourselves," Obama said. Obama had been in office only a month when he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion stimulus that Democratic majorities in both the Senate and House of Representatives passed over the objections of Republicans.