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Obama cites India again to ask Americans to buck up

For the third time in a month, President Barack Obama has cited the success of India and China to exhort Americans to be prepared to meet increasing competition from other countries.

world Updated: Feb 20, 2010 15:41 IST

For the third time in a month, President Barack Obama has cited the success of India and China to exhort Americans to be prepared to meet increasing competition from other countries.

"I said this during the State of the Union. I repeated it today in Henderson in my town hall. Other countries are not playing for second (spot), they're playing for first," Obama told the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce at Las Vegas on Friday.

"One of the things I know is of great interest to Nevada is tourism and what are we doing for tourism promotion," he said, taking his economic recovery agenda on the road with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is facing an extremely tough re-election battle this year.

"I can tell you, Harry is going to be championing a tourism promotion bill because, as he points out, why is it that every other country is promoting their tourist industry and America is not doing enough for ours?" he said amid applause.

"He's going to have strong support for that effort, but that's just one example of the competition that we're facing on everything.

"If China is producing 40 high-speed rail lines and we're producing one, we're not going to have the infrastructure of the future. If India or South Korea are producing more scientists and engineers than we are, we will not succeed," Obama said.

"So I hope that all of us - Democrats, Republicans, public servants, and leaders in the business community - can keep alive a sense of seriousness, a sense of common purpose.

"That's how we can rise to this moment and transcend the failures of the past, tackle the challenges before us, and leave behind a nation that is more prosperous than ever before," he said.

At his State of the Union and a fundraiser for Senator Michael Bennet in Denver, Obama had cited the example of India, China and Germany to push for a clean energy revolution and education reforms.

"We know that whoever leads the clean energy revolution is going to lead the 21st century economy, Obama said. "And we can't wait. We can't wait. Because China is not waiting. India is not waiting. Germany is not waiting. We can't afford to wait."