"If India or South Korea are producing more scientists and engineers than we are, we will not succeed," Obama told the Las Vegas-Area Chambers of Commerce and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Friday, Feb 19.
"I said this during the State of the Union (address), I repeated it today in Henderson in my town hall: Other countries are not playing for second. They're playing for first," he remarked.
Urging his country to step up attempts to catch up with the competing countries, the president said, "So I hope that all of us -- Democrats, Republicans, public servants and leaders in the business community - can keep alive a sense of seriousness, a sense of common purpose."
On Thursday, Feb 18, Obama had spoken about how countries like China and Germany were marching ahead in various fields, including clean energy technologies.
Even in his first State of the Union address in Jan 2010, the president raised concern over the growth of Asian giants like India and China.
“These nations aren"t standing still. These nations aren"t playing for second place," Obama had stated.