DETROIT (WJBK) - President Barack Obama was in Detroit to visit the auto show. But lately, Michigan has been in the center of the international spotlight as Flint's water crisis drags on.
President Obama toured the North American International Auto Show and then took the stage at the UAW-GM training center. As he put it, there's only one Detroit.
"I need to do a little browsing now at the Detroit Auto Show," he joked, referencing that he's out of office one year from today. "I know we have auto shows in Paris and Frankfurt and Tokyo, but there's only one Motor City. There is only one Detroit. If you are looking for the world's best cars and the workers who make those cars, you need to be in Detroit, Michigan," he said.
The President was touting the administrations involvement in the turnaround of the auto industry. He highlighted the fact that the year before he took office, 400,000 were laid off. Since he took office, 640,000 new jobs have been created in the auto industry, plus auto sales hit a record of $17.4 million in the U.S.
He also focused on his administration's role in new lights and better bussing in Detroit, along with blight removal efforts.
"You have buses that are running again. Streets that are well lit again. New homes and businesses getting off the ground again. There is still plenty of work, but can you feel the difference. You can feel something special happening in Detroit."
As for the elephant in the room, he addressed that. He said he met with Flint Mayor Karen Weaver on Tuesday and had a message for her.
"I told her we would have her back and all the people of Flint's back as they work their way through this terrible tragedy," he said. "The only job that's more important to me (than President) is the job as a father. And I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself because my kids health could be at risk,"
President Obama declared an emergency for Flint last week, which gets the city money and resources. That's not enough, according to Governor Rick Snyder, who is asking for a disaster declaration, which would free up even more money and far more resources.