July 24th, 2013
01:51 PM ET
9 months ago

Obama: Rest of my presidency is for working-class America

Galesburg, Illinois (CNN) - President Barack Obama pledged Wednesday to focus his energy for the rest of his presidency on the core tenet of his election victories - equal opportunity for all Americans - starting with a campaign-style speech on the economy that also appeared to launch this year's budget battle with Republicans.

Confronting deep partisan divide over federal spending, tax reform and raising the debt ceiling later this year, Obama told a raucous crowd of hundreds at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, that reversing a growing inequality between haves and have-nots should be the top priority of Congress.

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Filed under: Economy • President Obama
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Rethugs/ tea trolls only care about the rich and how they can help them.
    Middle class ( vanishing as we speak) and the poor just get in the way of their big pensions and medical care for life.

    July 24, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. tom l.

    This is going to be so fun to say: look at the faces of everyone behind him. Is that representative of our country? There are only white people in the audience.

    July 24, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. just sayin

    and the class warfare starts in advance of the 2014 elections. keep electing democrats and they promise the greatest welfare state you can imagine, built on the taxes of the few that produce in this country. use the tax code to steal more and more from those that produce in order to turn around and give it to those that produce little or nothing. democraps have turned our government into an organizing crime outfit. the mob votes for their knee cappers and then gets its pay back.

    July 24, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    "Morally wrong" or not, massive inequities in society certainly cause instability.

    Just ask the Bourbons.

    July 24, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Love our President.
    Polls are funny aren't they?...
    You keep on keeping on sir.
    I would've thrown in the proverbial towel a looooong time ago.
    That's why you're there and I'm here!

    July 24, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Compare wages between Costco employees and Walmart employees. Very big disparity.

    July 24, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Donna

    NONE of those people in the picture look very happy. They must be part of the 55% that DISAPPROVE of the way Obama is handling the economy. BTW, Obama's approval numbers are in the low 40s and flirting with the 30s. He is lower than George Bush. Maybe the American people are not buying the same old BS that Obama has been hawking for 5 years, with pathetic results to show for it.

    July 24, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. it must be said

    I think it is morally wrong that this failure has collected $2,000,000 in salary (far more in government paid vacations) for the last 5 years for his horrendous job performance. If he worked for a company, he would have been booted long ago. But in government,failure is rewarded.

    July 24, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh geez tom l. why do you make these ridiculous assumptions?
    I guess if you saw me in an audience of Black folks you would say that there were only African-American there.
    Didn't Zimmerman teach you anything about how you can look like something you're not?
    And quite frankly so what if they were ALL white? Really tom, what difference does it make?
    He is everyone's President.

    July 24, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "... built on the taxes of the few that produce in this country ..."

    I'm surprised you didn't say "built on the backs" of the few that produce ... blah, blah, blah.

    July 24, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    "100,000 bridges could qualify for Medicare".

    There you go GOPErs, your mindset seems to only view life in bumper sticker sound bites, hope that one is short enough for you to comprehend.

    July 24, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Obama said at Knox College that "America has fought its way back" after recession, but noted that the upward track of top-income earners while the average worker struggles to get by was "morally wrong" and "bad economics."

    Agreed. It is both morally wrong and bad economics. The "demand" side of the "supply" equation has taken a big hit. Guess the 1% top-income earners aren't doing their fair share of spending after all.

    July 24, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. tom l.

    @Dominican,
    Oh geez tom l. why do you make these ridiculous assumptions?
    I guess if you saw me in an audience of Black folks you would say that there were only African-American there.
    Didn't Zimmerman teach you anything about how you can look like something you're not?
    And quite frankly so what if they were ALL white? Really tom, what difference does it make?
    He is everyone's President.

    Clearly my sense of humor did not come through. I was just mocking everyone on here who always makes those comments if there is a picture with a republican and there is a crowd behind is mostly white. I was honestly joking and I do agree wholeheartedly with you when you say "what difference does it make".

    Although, based on someone else making that quote, I might have used different words. :) Lordy, let's have a little sense of humor and relax. :)

    July 24, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    democraps have turned our government into an organizing crime outfit. the mob votes for their knee cappers and then gets its pay back
    -------------------------------------------------
    Evidently your purple pills are NOT working. You're expressing yourself in non-sensical word salads and are exhibiting distressing signs of paranoia and malcontent.

    July 24, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. tom l.

    @Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote:

    So, be intellectually honest when you make comments rather than just being a partisan hack. The fact is that Obama is absolutely using class warfare. How can you deny this? Or am I wrong that when he says the "rich need to pay their fair share" that he is not utilizing class warfare tactics?
    --------––
    "partisan hack" That ranks as one of most hypocritical remarks ever seen around here. It takes talent to contradict yourself in the same breathe and not realize it. Tell someone not to be partisan and then turn right around and make a partisan attack.

    I keep telling you that the hyper right are too high and mighty to see themselves for what they are, hypocrites This proves it.

    Dude, I am so far from "hyper right" that it is laughable. I am against our foreign incursions, I have no problem with gay marriage, a woman should have the right to have an abortion. I voted for Ron Paul. Shall I go on?
    I am a moderate libertarian who is no big fan of repubs and mainly look at them as the lesser of two evils whereas you actually love being a democrat and support every single issue that the president supports. You really don't think for yourself.

    Now, would you like to respond to the actual comments I made with regards to Obama using class warfare? Or would you like to continue making poor assumptions about me just like the rest of your buddies here?

    July 24, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. simplyput

    Gee, my job left the country with NAFTA! Globalization sucks for americans. Our economic horizons are bleak regardless of what any president says. When I heard *political indifference* it was a sure giveaway. The middle class hasn't existing for over a decade now. Doesn't matter which politician is to blame, wages have been stagnant for almost thirty years. Print the dissent.

    July 24, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. sammy750

    The focus of the Republicans are the lowest wages for jobs. The State of TX pays the lowest in the USA, Yet Perry says he created the most jobs. Also TX ranked at the bottom for health care of its people.

    July 24, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. TONE

    @ just saying
    the only party that has turned this government into an organizing crime outfit is the republican party bush, cheney rumspheld, rove, and many more, today it is boner mcdonnell, kantor, mconnell soon to be x senator you republicans have no shame.

    July 24, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Tony

    tom i, you may not know this, but there are a lot of white people in the Midwest.

    July 24, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. Mikey

    @Donna – "BTW, Obama's approval numbers are in the low 40s and flirting with the 30s. He is lower than George Bush."
    *****************************************************************
    Try again. Obama is 46-49 right now, which is -3. GW Bush was below 40 for most of his second term and around 30 for his last two years, with a low of 25% – the lowest approval rating of ANY president in at least 80 years. Is there anything you conservatives can get right. Incorrect facts, bad logic, poor judgment – the hallmarks of the modern conservative movement.

    July 24, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. PJ

    I will never understand anyone who supports Republican/Teas who do nothing to aid in the recovery of America.
    Their willingness to let people who are suffering, not because these people are lazy, but because they got caught in the
    greedy grip of those who look out only for themselves.
    The Republicans have fought from day 1 to bring down President Obama. Bachmann said "we hold the purse
    strings", and that is true, yet they are unwilling to pay the debt they alone have obligated us to.
    They will fight tooth and nail to deny insurance coverage for children, or for those with pre-existing conditions, etc
    They will deny food stamps to the needy, the list is too long.
    Yet, they use every perk that comes down the pike for their own personal gain, even though the taxpayer has
    the burden of paying for what they deem they are "owed". We don't owe them a thing, and it will be a cold
    day in hell before I ever vote Republican/Tea.
    They will also get the same respect from me that they have given the President, his family, and the American
    people.

    July 24, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    and the class warfare starts in advance of the 2014 elections. .... ...
    ------------------
    ...and the divisive rhetoric just got kicked up a notch.

    July 24, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Compare wages between Costco employees and Walmart employees. Very big disparity.
    --------
    Well, then... I recommend the Wal-Mart employee go and apply for a job at Costco. If Wal-Mart loses enough employees, they'll have no choice but to raise wages to be competitive in the labor market.

    July 24, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Mitt Romney stands for good paying jobs for all ?

    July 24, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. simplyput

    @GOP=Greed
    I found the *100,000 bridges could qualify for medicare* quip to be extremely discriminatory to seniors. We comprehend a bit more than you think.

    July 24, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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