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Obama links economic growth to innovation

President Obama said Saturday that America's economic future is creating an environment where U.S. companies and workers can excel beyond foreign competitors.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama echoed themes from his Tuesday State of the Union address, in which he said the government needs to spend more on education and infrastructure to build a foundation for economic growth.

"That's how America will win the future: by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our competitors," Obama said in his weekly remarks, which were taped Wednesday at a company in Manitowoc, Wis., that makes clean-energy equipment. "We'll win the future by being the best place on earth to do business."

Obama will travel to State College, Pa., this week to highlight programs, funded by the Department of Energy, that are conducting research into energy efficiency.

"I'll be shining a spotlight on innovators across America who are relying on new technologies to create new jobs and opportunities in new industries," Obama said.

In the Republican response, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said the federal government must reduce its spending to unleash economic growth and job creation.

"Big government is blocking job creation, not helping it," he said. "The sooner Washington ends its dependence on more spending, the sooner our economy will see real growth."

After unveiling his "Winning the Future" mantra in his State of the Union address, Obama's upbeat but amorphous phrase is part of every speech, policy and pronouncement coming out of the administration.

Republicans found much to mock in the president's theme, styling it as nothing more than new rhetorical packaging for the same wrong-headed approach to governing.

Newt Gingrich, who wrote a book titled "Winning the Future" back in 2005, found Obama's interpretation of the same phrase "depressing."

"There is an Obama plan for protecting big government, for pouring more money into broken bureaucracies, for borrowing several trillion more from the Chinese dictatorship. President Obama is on a path to lose the future while pretending to change things," the former House speaker wrote in his response to Obama's State of the Union address.

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