From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
(CHICAGO) Barack Obama kicks off the second week of his economy tour today, with two stops in Michigan. Today will mark Obama's third trip to the state since launching his general election campaign just a few weeks ago. He did not campaign in Michigan during the primaries.
Obama's speech today will focus on the economy and global competitiveness. According to the campaign, he will unveil plans to improve the education system, reduce dependency on foreign oil, and pursue fairer trade policies. Although he will not unveil new policy today, his speech is intended to summarize his long term plans for the economy.
The speech on competitiveness will take place at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, a city that has been deeply affected by the economic downturn. According to a Detroit Free Press, article previewing today's visit, the number of auto workers in Flint fell from 79,000 in 1976 to 12,000 today. Obama has focused on similar communities in the past week, as he continues to court middle class voters by emphasizing his plans to overhaul the economy.
The RNC has already issued a statement ahead of Obama's speech, as they continue to paint him as a "tax and spend" liberal. RNC spokesman, Alex Conant, said, "Barack Obama is wrong: Raising taxes on small businesses and limiting free trade will make America less competitive – not more competitive. Obama can slap whatever label he wants on his tax-and-spend agenda, but it won't create new jobs or promote prosperity."