President Obama discusses housing market in Phoenix - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee


President Obama discusses housing market in Phoenix

(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
Taken during Obama's last visit to Phoenix in Jan. 2012. (Source: AP) Taken during Obama's last visit to Phoenix in Jan. 2012. (Source: AP)

President Barack Obama made a stop in Phoenix on Tuesday to discuss the housing market and his plan to improve the economy.

Air Force One landed at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix just before noon Tuesday.

Obama stopped at a construction company in Chandler before heading to Desert Vista High School.

The arrival and departure of Air Force One, and the president's remarks at the high school were closed to the public.

Obama discussed his ideas for helping homeowners and others who want to own a home. Last week, Obama began a series of speeches outlining his ideas for how to help grow the middle class and boost the economy.

''I am glad to see that President Obama recognizes the challenges Arizona homeowners face," said Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema, D-AZ. "I hope he will listen closely to what families in our community say and offer concrete and commonsense proposals to ensure families can realize the American dream of homeownership."

The Republican National Committee spokesman Ryan Mahoney released the following statement about the president's upcoming visit:

"President Obama is simply regurgitating and repackaging dated proposals that haven't put the economy back on track. With an economic strategy seemingly based on nothing but empty rhetoric, it's no wonder Americans don't believe he's looking out for the middle class. If President Obama really wants to get the economy moving again, he'd be better off working toward bipartisan solutions rather than giving speeches that offer nothing new."

Sinema said that while the economy is showing signs of recovery, "for many families it has been too little, too late. We still struggle with high unemployment and slow growth in Arizona. More must be done to accelerate our economic recovery."

She said homeownership is "critical to a secure economic future."

The president is expected to depart at 2:10 p.m. MST and will head to Burbank, CA, to spread his economic message during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday Obama has scheduled a visit with troops and their families at Camp Pendleton.

Obama's last trip to Arizona was in January 2012 when he spoke at Intel Corp's manufacturing facility in Chandler the day after he delivered his State of the Union address. His speech focused on job creation and economic development.

It was on that visit that Gov. Jan Brewer drew criticism, after she was captured in a photo waving her finger in his face.

Brewer said she doesn't believe she was being disrespectful to Obama.

"I was taken aback, because I was trying to talk about jobs and the economy, and he chose to turn it against my book and I was caught off guard," Brewer said during a visit to Bullhead City, nearly 24 hours after the incident.

The two leaders could be seen engaged in an intense conversation at the base of Air Force One's steps, upon his arrival to the Valley.

The governor said she was just trying to give the president a handwritten letter and invite him for a tour of the border. But the White House painted a different picture, claiming the president told the governor she had inaccurately described their meeting in her book, Scorpions for Breakfast.

When asked if it was a publicity stunt for her book, the governor said, "Absolutely not. I was there to greet him, and tell him about the Arizona economy. I don't know anything about my book numbers. And I'm animated, I talk with my hands."

Obama's visit is his sixth trip to Arizona since he became president in January 2009.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.  CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) contributed to this report.

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