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Pence refutes Obama's role in economic recovery

Posted at 8:39 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 20:39:41-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- President Barack Obama is set to return to Indiana Wednesday to use the Hoosier state as an example of how far the nation's economy has come since the recession.

But Republicans claim the White House is taking far too much credit.

The White House is touting the trip as a bit of a victory lap and a look ahead to the future of the nation's economy.

Elkhart, Indiana, was Obama's first official trip as president in 2009. The unemployment rate in the city at the time was nearly 20 percent, and 10 percent statewide.

Fast-forward seven years, and unemployment is now at roughly 4 percent in Elkhart, and 5.2 percent statewide.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest recently told RTV6 this return trip brings the president's economic policies full circle.

"Over the last seven years, our country has pursued a strategy spearheaded by President Obama to invest in the middle class and lay a foundation where our private sector could lead a remarkable recovery from the Great Recession," Earnest said.

In a recent radio interview, though, Gov. Mike Pence claimed Indiana's economic strength comes in spite of, not because of, the White House.

"I'm more than happy to have the president come and celebrate the economic success of the state of Indiana, but I'm not real sure what Washington, D.C., has done to contribute to it," Pence said. "We've seen businesses large and small create more than 140,000 jobs over the last three years. And I think that's been the result of the fact that we're different from Washington. Here in Indiana, we have balanced budgets, we've invested in education and in infrastructure."

Democrat John Gregg won't join the president Wednesday, as he'd had a previously scheduled campaign stop.