You’d never know it judging by the number of jobs he’s subtracted from the U.S. economy

BALTIMORE  (CBS DC) — Trying to reset the agenda amid scandal in Washington, President Barack Obama turned his attention Friday to the economy and said lawmakers should spend every day resolute on how to help it grow and get people back to work. “Our focus cannot drift,” he said.

After a week that put him on the defensive and consumed by a trio of political controversies, Obama left the turmoil behind on a short helicopter flight about 40 miles north to Baltimore. The city has had its share of tough times in its move from an industrial to service economy, but Obama wanted to highlight its progress. Maryland overall has experienced job growth this year as part of a nationwide economic recovery. […]

He highlighted the manufacturing base that still thrives here by speaking at Ellicott Dredges, maker of equipment for underwater excavation. He visited with students in an early childhood education program along with a community center that provides job training. Obama has proposed making public preschool available for all 4-year-olds from low-income families.

At the elementary school, Obama watched a group of youngsters learn to write about their favorite zoo animals and quizzed them on simple arithmetic. When one girl had a hard time coming up with the answer to one equation, Obama said in a sympathetic tone that “subtraction is tougher than addition.”