Obama Shifts Focus to Budget

Posted March 19, 2009 at 1:37pm

President Barack Obama on Thursday sought to move the focus off the American International Group bonus payment scandal, lodging an appearance at an electric battery plant in Pomona, Calif., without a single mention of the issue that is bedeviling his administration.

Avoiding further expressions of outrage that he been repeating all week, Obama instead turned to his budget, which the administration is attempting to promote directly to voters outside Washington, D.C.

Appearing before employees after a tour of the Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center, Obama focused on the energy component of his budget, pointing to goals such as putting more than a million hybrid electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

“We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that will allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy,— he said. “We can let climate change go unchecked, or we can stop it.—

Obama on Thursday will hold a town hall meeting in Los Angeles and then tape an appearance on the “Tonight Show With Jay Leno.—