Jul 24 2013

AL.com: Sen. Richard Shelby: Obama had nothing to do with Airbus

Sen. Richard Shelby: Obama had nothing to do with Airbus

By George Talbot | gtalbot@al.com

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, criticized President Barack Obama for a jobs speech today in which Obama touted Airbus' plans to build an aircraft assembly plant in Mobile.

Obama mentioned the Airbus project during a major economic address delivered today at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.

“Add it all up, and over the past 40 months, our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs. This year, we are off to our strongest private-sector job growth since 1999," Obama said during the hour-long speech. "And because we bet on this country, foreign companies are, too. Right now, more of Honda’s cars are made in America than anywhere else. Airbus will build new planes in Alabama."

Shelby fired back in an interview on CNN, saying the Obama administration "has always been about more taxes and more regulations."

"That’s not what creates jobs in this country. That’s not what brings foreign direct  investment," Shelby said. "My state of Alabama has benefited from foreign direct investment. Look at Airbus. The President has nothing to do with that. Not to my knowledge. We’ve got a good workforce. We’ve got a good engineering school in Mobile, Alabama. We have the right to work laws. What we need is structural reform, not more rhetoric."

Airbus in April broke ground on a proposed $600 million, 1,000-worker factory at Mobile's Brookley Aeroplex that will produce A320 passenger jets.

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, also weighed in on Obama's comments about Airbus via a message posted to his Twitter account:

"Nice of President to cite Ala #Airbus jobs in economic speech. Our landing #Airbus had nothing to do with his higher taxes bigger gov agenda"

Airbus had this to say:

"Thanks @whitehouse Pres. Obama for the shoutout about our A320 assembly line in Mobile Ala. http://ow.ly/nhLse"