“It is good to be back in Brooklyn.”
President Barack Obama, who lived in the borough back in the 1980s but had yet to make an official stop as president, according to Borough President Marty Markowitz, returned to the borough today to visit a tech-focused high school in Crown Heights.
Although he began his speech with some light-hearted reminiscing–“I actually landed Marine One in Prospect Park. I used to live across the street from Prospect Park … When I was living here, Brooklyn was cool–but not this cool!” he told the adoring crowd–Mr. Obama quickly pivoted to a larger argument about the federal budget.
Specifically, Mr. Obama touted the Pathways in Technology Early College High School as an example of why the federal government should not simply cut programs for the sake of cutting them. “P-TECH is proof of what we can be accomplished,” he said. “But we got to have the courage to do it.”
He went on to once again slam House Republicans for the recent U.S. government shutdown and near debt-ceiling default—arguing that member of Congress had their priorities wrong.
“You think education I expensive wait ‘til you see how much ignorance costs,” he quipped. “Don’t tell me that we can afford to shut down the government, which cost our economy millions of dollars, but we can’t afford to invest in our education system.”
At one point, he jokingly even suggested the pols should sit in on the class he’d sat in on before the speech: “real-world math.”
And later, Mr. Obama suggested Senator Chuck Schumer, who had a front-row seat in the crowd, bring House Republicans to Brooklyn for a field trip to see the school.
“Come here, come to Brooklyn!” he advised.