Fact check: Obama's North Carolina visits - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Fact check: Obama's North Carolina visits

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President Barack Obama returns to the Triangle on Wednesday, a trip that highlights the political might of North Carolina and a place that has been common ground for the nation's 44th president.

He'll speak at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Complex on the N.C. State campus Wednesday afternoon. WNCN will carry the speech live on television and online.

Obama used a decisive victory in the North Carolina primary to catapult him into the White House in 2008. As president, he has appeared at hallowed sports arenas like Reynolds Coliseum and Carmichael Arena to boost support for his policies. And he has stopped at high-tech North Carolina companies like Cree to push his programs as well.

But have his trips to North Carolina been effective? And has he delivered on what he promised?

Here's a look back at Obama's key visits to the region, as a candidate and as president, and the results of those visits.

As a candidate

April 29, 2008: Obama arrived at 7 a.m. at UNC and toured the Tar Heels' basketball facilities on a tour led by Coach Roy Williams. He then played basketball with the Carolina team, including star center Tyler Hansbrough.

"These guys are big and fast when you're out there," Obama said. "It's impressive."

"And I hope they get bigger and faster," Williams replied.

Result: Obama, 46 at the time, went on to win the North Carolina primary in May.

May 3, 2008: Obama spoke at the highly anticipated Jefferson-Jackson Democratic Party dinner at Dorton Arena to court voters for the North Carolina primary, which followed on May 6. His opponent, Hillary Clinton, spoke at the event as well, and thousands packed Dorton Arena to hear the two Democratic heavyweights. Obama was leading in the polls at the time but many expected the race to be close.

Result: Obama built momentum toward the primary on May 6.

May 6, 2008: Obama appeared at N.C. State in a campaign event on the day he won the North Carolina primary.

Result: Obama won the N.C. primary decisively, getting 56 percent of the vote to Clinton's 41.5 percent, a vote that effectively sealed the Democratic nomination.

As president

June 13, 2011: Obama visited the headquarters of LED leader Cree and praised the company's growth from being a small business started by N.C. State engineers to a global company. He pushed the importance of STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math – and called that "the jobs of the future."

"If we're going to make sure the good jobs of tomorrow stay here in America, stay here in North Carolina, we've got to make sure all our companies have a steady stream of skilled workers to draw from," Obama said.

He announced that he wanted to train 10,000 new American engineers every year and praised his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness as being essential to helping businesses flourish.

"And today, with the leadership of the Jobs Council, we're announcing an all-hands-on-deck strategy to train 10,000 new American engineers every year," he said.

Result: The Jobs Council met in Durham but overall had an underwhelming history. It presented formal recommendations to Obama on Jan. 17, 2012, in what Politico said was its fourth official meeting since its creation. The 26-member panel did not meet for a full year after that and Obama did not renew its charter when it expired Jan. 31, 2013.

Sept. 14, 2011: As president, Obama visited N.C. State on Sept. 14, 2011, when he made an impassioned speech on his American Jobs Program.

Obama had unveiled his $447 billion jobs plan – a mix of tax cuts for employers and employees, and spending on infrastructure – in a major speech to Congress on Sept. 8, 2011, as a way to boost a struggling U.S. economy.Obama at N.C. State

His speech in politically important North Carolina was an effort to sway public opinion to his cause. Speaking in warm Reynolds Coliseum – and every Wolfpack fan knows how warm Reynolds can be – Obama shucked his coat and rolled up his sleeves for a passionate speech before a crowd of 9,000.

He showed a copy of the bill, pointed to the crowd with a sense of urgency and asked those in attendance to let Congress know they supported the measure.

"If we pass this bill, the typical working family in North Carolina will get a $1,300 tax cut next year," Obama said.

He added, "Every single one of you can help make this bill a reality by telling Congress to pass this bill, pass this jobs bill."

Result: The jobs bill stalled in the Senate in November of 2011.

Dec. 14, 2011: Obama traveled to Fort Bragg to deliver remarks on the end of the United State's ells soldiers "As your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to finally say these two words," he said, "Welcome home."

It was an upbeat speech, one in which first lady Michelle Obama introduced him and the president drew laughter by saying he was fortunate to "marry up."

Result: The speech was largely a thank you for the soldiers' service, and included references to longer commitments. For example, the president said, "Our commitment doesn't end when you take off the uniform." He didn't offer any new proposals or specifics but did say "Michelle has worked with the private sector to get commitments to create 100,000 jobs for those who've served. "

April 24, 2012: Obama spoke at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill in his first official visit to UNC as president. He spoke to about 8,000 people and joked about UNC basketball, noting that Carolina might have won the NCAA men's basketball title if Kendall Marshall had not been hurt.Obama at UNC

But the visit was part of Obama's push keeping the interest rate on the federal Stafford Loans at 3.4 percent.

Result: The rate was set to double by the summer, but Congress reached an agreement before the July 1 deadline to keep the rates at 3.4 percent.

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