July 24th, 2013
01:51 PM ET
1 year 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. Gurgyl

    None of the GOP idiots are for good paying jobs–they are for wars. They kill you not their kith and kin. Know this.

    July 24, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. tom l.

    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 - And from you:

    "That ranks as one of most hypocritical remarks ever seen around here"

    Lol. So I guess you don't remember when Pelosi and Reid referred to GWB as a loser and a liar. It happens both ways, my man.

    July 24, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. smith

    Being angry at people that have omre than you is no way to live out your life. These folks will never be happy because their is always somebody that has more. Stop cryin` about wealthy folks and concentrate on your own personal progression and you will see the fruits of your hard work.

    July 24, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    SEVENTY PERCENT- 70% of the US Economy is based on Consumer Spending. Every penny that makes it into Middle Class pockets gets put back into the Economy. Every thing that allows Middle Class Americans to make more money ends up back into Corporate America's bottomless Profits. Can't the Repubs. at least let the Middle Class rub their penny a little longer before somebody in the Free Market grabs it from them.

    July 24, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    simplyput wrote:

    @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.
    ---------------
    Did you notice the quotation marks? That usually means that someone is quoting the article or another post. In other words, those are not the original words of "GOP=GREED".

    July 24, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Obama is the most OUTRAGEOUS liar in the human race.

    America is no where near "back". Not even remotely close. We have 17 trillion in debt, no jobs, and Obama wants to pay people $12.50 an hour to work at Walmart.

    Frankly........Obama is a fraud........a total fraud.

    July 24, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    smith wrote:

    Being angry at people that have omre than you is no way to live out your life. These folks will never be happy because their is always somebody that has more. Stop cryin` about wealthy folks and concentrate on your own personal progression and you will see the fruits of your hard work.
    ------------------–
    There they go again with the class warfare rhetoric. It seems to be the topic of the day from the neo-libertarians.. They want to turn the argument about people not paying taxes into one about liberals being jealous of wealth.

    July 24, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Name Uche Agonsi

    I dont seem to comprehend election message from the Repubs, moreso, in midst of a growing China. Undisciplined Budget cuts for some months are ruining the US economy already. If these continue for several months or years, US lead in economy & high tech might feasle out sooner than anticipated...... The story now is that while US flexes its might in middle east, China is spreading every part of the world economically. We no longer hear of American/European goods in Africa but China. The Repubs are killing US........ Its a pity no one is listening.

    July 24, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote:

    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?
    -----------------–
    Anyone who supports Ron Paul's extremely made over version of libertarianism is hardly a moderate? You might be a moderate within that crowd, but out in the real world Ron Paul is on the hyper right.

    And no, I will not answer your "questions" about Obama using class warfare until you can demonstrate when he has done so. Look before you leap. The mere act of you throwing the accusation out there IS class warfare in and of itself.

    July 24, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  10. California

    No less than $50,000 for each and every Walmart employee.

    July 24, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -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.
    ****************
    You saw it it here, folks: just sayin playing his/her ongoing role as the most heroic neocon victim in history. I'm certain that when the GOP fell asleep at the switch over the last decade he/she was convinced prosperity lay around the corner, and it weren't for that damn Obama persoanly pinching money from his/her wallet, the world would be a far better place. Organized crime is an unregulated market, which any decent economist will tell you is a recipe for ensuring more money gets concentrated in the hands of fewer people while the rest of us settle for those wonderful min-wage, part-time jobs that the Right tells us is all that we can look forward to. My question to just sayin and the others is what are you doing to help lift another person out of poverty? Have you tried actually doing something, as opposed to patching holes in your network of lies, spin, and fabrications with more crap?

    July 24, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  12. California

    The stimulus bailed out the rich. What did these fools think would happen?

    July 24, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Romney is STILL NOT My Hero

    Our poor president wants equality for everyone. Sorry, Mr. President, but this will never happen. We have a country divided in every way – gender, race, religion, etc. To be the "land of the free" is a dream deferred and a horrible song.

    July 24, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. tom l.

    @Rudy

    Would the headline "Obama takes aim at the top 1%" be an indication to you that President Obama is utilizing class warfare tactics again?

    July 24, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. TONE

    @fair is fair
    How can all walmart employees go to apply for jobs at costco it makes no sense you tell me how can costco accomodate all walmart employees what about creating more good paying jobs other than costco jobs like repairing bridges tunnels roads etc i thought you guys ran on jobs in 2010 am i missing something.

    July 24, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "and the class warfare starts in advance of the 2014 elections. .... ..."

    Newsflash: It's been going on for decades upon decades. There's a reason middle-class wages have remained stagnant for 40+ years while the ratio of executive to middle-class worker pay has increased from approximately 35 to 1 in the 1970's to over 300 to 1. There's a reason that 1% of the country has 35% of the country's wealth and that 5% of the country has over 62% of the wealth...while 60% of the country only accounts for 2% of the wealth...and why this disparity has been growing at an accelerated pace for the past several decades. Here's a hint: the reason is not that the wealth these people have accumulated, consolidated and hoarded is evidence of implicit virtue. The reason is that our plutocratic elections and political systems have allowed the wealthy to wage a class war upon the middle-class and poor. They control the decision-making in Washington. They control the information systems (read: the MSM) that help people form their opinions as to what is in their best interests. They control the politicians fighting tooth and nail to enact policies designed to treat the wealthy preferentially and redistribute wealth upwards via inequitable tax cuts and eradicating labor standards. There's a class war alright: the wealthy have been winning it for our entire lifetimes.

    July 24, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Name Uche Agonsi

    If the middle class (with the poor ) income does not improve, how would the US market, and economy improve, China has much much larger social responsibility than US, & still their economy is growing at a frightening rate.

    July 24, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Independent

    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?
    ___________________
    Thank you Tom for pointing out that not all of us are far right OR far left, that describes me perfectly except I gave up and did not vote since I knew Paul had no chance of winning. Well I didn't vote for a president but I did vote for the house reps and local reps. The problem is these liberals see everyone as either far left or far right nothing between....

    July 24, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  19. GOP = Greed Over People

    Psst, simpleton, "simplyput" I am also one of those "seniors"!

    What exactly is "offensive" about being 65 or older?

    At our age, you should have learned the definition of "discrimanation" by now!

    July 24, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote:

    Lol. So I guess you don't remember when Pelosi and Reid referred to GWB as a loser and a liar. It happens both ways, my man.
    ------------
    You lie. Reid called him a "liar" and never used the word "loser." Pelosi never said either one, but made no effort to hide her contempt for Bush.

    Interview with Senator Harry Reid, NBC’s Meet the Press, December 5, 2004

    MR. RUSSERT: When the president talked about Yucca Mountain and moving the nation's nuclear waste there, you were very, very, very strong in your words. You said, "President Bush is a liar. He betrayed Nevada and he betrayed the country."

    Bush's public flip-flop on the disposition of Yucca Mountain bears the truth to Sen. Reid's opinion.

    July 24, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. Independent

    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.
    ____________
    see Mikey this is why no one believes a Dem anymore, there was a story right here on CNN (a few hours ago) that put his rating at 45% (CNN Pull) and 45%-49% on the ECONOMY not overall (ABC I believe) not 46%, I know it is only 1 percent but you still are NOT telling the truth. All pulls you refer to are LIBERAL leaning outlets anyway, look up a right leaning or one in the MIDDLE and they are in the low 40's approaching high 30's!!! I have no idea what Bush's ratings were so I can't speak to that. Here I have pasted some of the article below for PROOF!

    "Forty-five percent of the public approves of the job the president's doing on the economy, with 51% saying they disapprove, in an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted July 17-21. And Obama stands at 45%-49% approval/disapproval on the economy in an ABC News/Washington Post survey conducted July 18-21. National surveys indicate that the economy remains the top issue on the minds of Americans.

    As for the president's overall rating, the public appears divided.

    A new CNN Poll of Polls compiled Wednesday morning puts Obama's approval at 45% and his disapproval at 47%."

    July 24, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    TONE

    @fair is fair
    How can all walmart employees go to apply for jobs at costco it makes no sense you tell me how can costco accomodate all walmart employees what about creating more good paying jobs other than costco jobs like repairing bridges tunnels roads etc i thought you guys ran on jobs in 2010 am i missing something.
    ------
    Yeah, you're missing something all right. Labor, like everything else, is a commodity governed by the basic economic law of supply and demand. Wal-Mart isn't the only player in the labor market. If they want the best people, they're going to have to offer the best wages. Costco (apparently) is doing that already and it's only a matter of time before it catches up with Wal-Mart.

    July 24, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    California

    The stimulus bailed out the rich. What did these fools think would happen?
    -------------
    You must be referring to the majority share of it that went directly to states, where most red states gave out tax cuts to businesses and the wealthy. Right?

    July 24, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Now, would you like to respond to the actual comments I made with regards to Obama using class warfare"

    Yes. It's the same thing that's going on in terms of racism in this country. Anyone who has the audacity to point out that someone is behaving like or saying things that are racist gets accused by the right of "playing the race card." Anyone who points out that the wealth disparity in this country has been growing and continues to grow at an ever-accelerating rate because we've adopted economic and tax and business policies that redistribute wealth UPWARDS, i.e., that the wealthy are waging class warfare on the middle-class and poor via our wealth-centric political system...that person who points out that class warfare IS ALREADY TAKING PLACE AGAINST THE MIDDLE_CLASS AND POOR...gets accused of class warfare against the welfare. So yeah, we understand perfectly: those who want to defend racists, those who want to defend plutocrats, those who want to defend the broken systems in our politics and our economy and our culture and our institutions and our laws....THOSE WHO WANT TO DEFEND THE STATUS QUO...immediately attack anyone who points out that there is something wrong with it by accusing that person of exactly what that person is pointing out. "I know you are but what am I?" Plutocrat playground politics.

    July 24, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    edit:

    "gets accused of class warfare against the WEALTHY." The typing is too d-mn fast!

    July 24, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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