INDIANAPOLIS -- As President-elect Donald Trump celebrates his deal with Carrier to save jobs, it calls to mind an interesting presidential parallel.
In January 2009, President Barack Obama's first official stop as president was to Elkhart, Indiana, an embattled auto town that had an unemployment rate of 20 percent.
Earlier this year, President Obama re-visited Elkhart to celebrate the city’s recovery since that date, boasting an unemployment rate of just 4 percent.
President Obama's auto bailout was the focal point of job creation in Indiana and the United States at that time, saving a total of 1.2 million jobs, according to the White House, including many in Elkhart.
Trump made his first official stop as President-elect in Indianapolis Thursday, boasting the deal in which he saved more than 700 jobs at the Carrier plant on the city's west side that otherwise would have been shipped to Mexico beginning in 2017. The deal was made in exchange for $7 million in tax incentives over the next 10 years for the Carrier.
The White House is calling on Trump to continue that momentum and “meet the standard” set by outgoing President Obama.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest spoke to the press on Wednesday before Trump’s big announcement in Indianapolis.
“If he is successful in doing that 804 more times, then he will meet the record of manufacturing jobs that were created in the United States while President Obama was in office,” said Earnest.
Trump’s deal with Carrier will keep 730 union, production line jobs in Indianapolis as well as 70 salaried positions. Carrier workers will not have to make wage concessions, and the company will honor its previously negotiated severance package. Roughly 600 jobs will still be lost.
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And while saving and adding jobs is a key promise of Trump’s campaign, the White House is calling on him to not only match that momentum in saving jobs but compete with Obama’s record for creating jobs.
“There were 805,000 jobs that weren’t just protected or saved, but actually created while President Obama was in office,” said Earnest.