Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton today called for a manufacturing renaissance during a campaign stop at the AM General plant in Mishawaka.
“I am excited to be here with all of you because I know what a success this is and I want more people to know how it happened, hot it keeps going, and how we can do more.”
It was noted that AM General is the only contract vehicle assembly plant in the U.S. It is a successful U.S. business that does very little business in the United States.
For instance, AM General now builds “R” series Mercedes SUV’s and ships every one of them to China.
"You have Mercedes-Benz vehicles, a German company’s vehicles, being made here in this great American plant and being exported to China. So that proves if we are smart and we are determined, we can out-work and out-compete anybody anywhere, and that is my goal."
When AM General used to build the MV-1 (workers say production was stopped months ago) about 20 percent of those units were sold overseas. Over at AM General’s military Humvee plant, about two-thirds of those vehicles are now exported.
“I’m running for president, not to live in the White House again, “ Clinton quipped. “It’s a nice place, don’t get me wrong. I’m running for president because I want our country to fulfill its promise to every single American.
Clinton spoke about her "Make it in America" proposal, a 10 billion dollar initiative to decrease outsourcing by investing in U.S. manufacturing jobs and training.
But some employees say they are skeptical about politicians making promises.
“We've heard it before and the jobs just keep bleeding,” says Jim Web.
Clinton called for a manufacturing renaissance that would rebuild the middle class.
Clinton met with employees at the Mishawaka plant before taking the stage shortly after 6:15 p.m.
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) introduced Clinton.
"The reason we want her for president is because she’s going to stand for working families," Donnelly told the workers. "She’s going to make sure every family has a chance to make their dream come true. That their kids and their kids’ kids will have an even better America than we have today."
Clinton praised AM General for the company's ability to produce vehicles for a global market.
"I also want to thank you for coming up with the MV-1," Clinton said, referring to the company's purpose-built wheelchair accessible vehicle. "What a remarkable invention, providing dignity, mobility to people with disabilities, and I am thrilled that I got to see that.
Erika Bogan is an employee at AM General. She demonstrated for Clinton how MV1 allows her to be independent. Bogan says she almost started crying when Clinton mentioned her by name during her speech.
“I definitely thing she cares about the American people, about the working class people which I think is especially important in the vehicle industry.”