In a campaign-style speech laced with populist themes, Mr. Obama repeatedly reminded the plant workers that he's fighting for them.
He told his audience, "As long as you've still got an ounce of fight left in you, I'll have a ton of fight left in me."
He also touched on his top domestic priority, declaring, "We are fighting for an America where no American should have to worry about going without health insurance or fear that one illness could cost them everything."
The president also announced plans for a new national standard designed to increase gas mileage and decrease greenhouse emissions for all new cars and trucks sold in the U.S. He predicted the action would give auto companies "long-overdue clarity, stability and predictability."
The president spoke near the production line where compact Chevy Cobalts are made. To the cheers of workers who build the cars, he said the model was among the most popular cars in the recent "cash for clunkers" program that paid new car buyers up to $4,500 to purchase more fuel efficient models.
GM has boosted production of the compact car and rehired laid-off workers at the plant where the president spoke.