Sherrod Brown: Obama Is Disappointing On Manufacturing


President Obama will arrive in Cleveland Tuesday for a series of small business events with entrepreneurs and members of his own cabinet.

But the Democratic senator from that state is unhappy with Obama’s performance on this score thus far — particularly when it comes to promoting manufacturing. And he’s taking his critique public.“The President’s done more on manufacturing than his predecessors, but not nearly enough,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) told me in an interview Friday. “That needs a real strategy on making things. We ought to make things in this country. And it’s a strategy on a different trade policy, a different tax policy, an emphasis on working with small manufacturers.”

Brown says he’s made a lot of noise about this to the administration, and to the President himself — “Every week. Directly, indirectly. To his staff. To him.” But the administration isn’t structured in a way that helps foster this sort of policy.

“I think they’re doing some things. Ron Bloom [the White House manufacturing adviser] has been very good. Bloom is not in quite the right place to have his voice heard. His message is not followed as often as I’d like to see.”


Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at