Meeting with the nation's governors today at the White House, President Barack Obama noted that his plans for high speed rail have "garnered controversy" in some states (see Florida: Rick Scott) which he attributed in some cases to "partisan politics." (He didn't name any names.)
But he argued that spending on infrastructure projects "hasn’t traditionally been a partisan issue. Lincoln laid the rails during the course of a civil war. Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System. Both parties have always believed that America should have the best of everything. We don’t have third-rate airports and third-rate bridges and third-rate highways."
He said that new businesses are going to want the "fastest, most reliable way to move goods," whether its Chicago or Shanghai. And he wants them to stay in the United States.
"To those who say that we can’t afford to make investments in infrastructure, I say we can’t afford not to make investments in infrastructure," he said. "The notion that somehow we’d give up that leadership at this critical juncture in our history makes no sense."