3:49pm PT by Andy Lewis
President Obama: ‘I’m Here to Announce That We're Building Iron Man’ (Video)
At a White House event promoting manufacturing innovation, President Obama said, “I’m here to announce that we're building Iron Man,” after ticking off advances in cloud computing, metallurgy and weapons building.
The audience broke up laughing at the joke and Obama clearly enjoying himself added, "I'm gonna blast off in a second.” Then the President confessed it was a joke -- or was it? "This has been a secret project we've been working on for a long time. Not really. Maybe. It's classified," he added.
As Slate and Gizmodo note, the Pentagon has already been working on its own (much less cool) version of a Iron Man-style battle armor in the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS).
The purpose of Obama’s speech was to announce the creation of “Manufacturing Innovation Institutes” in Chicago and Detroit to develop cutting-edge technologies and translate them into commercial products—something he talked about in this year’s State of the Union speech. The administration has already set up hubs in Youngstown, Ohio and Raleigh, North Carolina and is looking for more money from Congress to fund more.
See Obama’s Iron Man remarks below.