CLEVELAND -- Lakshmi Mittal, the multi-billionaire chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal steel company here, has not visited here since he purchased it in 2005. He returned Thursday to host the visit of President Barack Obama.

Mittal called the Cleveland plant vital to the global steel company that is the world's largest producer of steel.

In his remarks before President Obama arrived, he called the Cleveland plant vital to the Arcelor Mittal operations.

He also stressed the importance of safety and sent his condolences to the family of the employee in the company's East Chicago plant who was killed on Wednesday.

The President took the stage just about 3:37 p.m.. The stage had a backdrop of a giant American flag and rolls and rolls of steel.

His speech hit on the planned economic themes of energy and auto rescue, but there were heavy doses of health care.

In a bit of political symmetry, the President name-checked Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who pushed for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Kasich faces a re-election challenge next year from Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who met the President at Cleveland Hopkins Airport when he landed in Air Force One.

Among his remarks, he said "Over the past few years, you've made yourselves not just one of the most productive steel mills in the country but in the world."