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Prez offers optimism from Chrysler plant

WASHINGTON -- Distancing himself from new economic sputters, President Barack Obama Saturdaydeclared that recent "headwinds" were caused by high gasoline prices, Japan's disastrous earthquake and jitters over a European fiscal crisis.

He cited the U.S. auto industry's resurgence as an inspiration for a broader recovery.

"We're a people who don't give up, who do big things, who shape our own destiny," the president said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

The message was taped Friday during Obama's visit to a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio. And the address echoed the remarks he offered to about 350 Chrysler workers.

The White House has spent practically every day this past week drawing attention to the industry comeback and taking credit for Obama's unpopular decision to bail out Chrysler and General Motors and guide them through bankruptcy in 2009.

Like Friday's comments to Chrysler workers, Obama's address Saturday did not mention the bleak unemployment numbers announced Friday for the month of May. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy last month created only a net 54,000 jobs and unemployment inched up to 9.1 percent.

"We're facing some tough headwinds," Obama said. "Lately, it's high gas prices, the earthquake in Japan and unease about the European fiscal situation. That will happen from time to time."

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